Saito Kiyoshi was a leading figure in the 'creative print' (sosaku hanga) movement in Japan, working in the colour woodblock medium that has been at the core of the country's great printmaking tradition.

Early recognition at the Sao Paulo Biennale in 1951 led to an invitation to visit the USA in 1956, which consolidated his international reputation. Having specialized early in his career in snow views of his native Aizu, Saito switched in the 1950s to using the ancient imperial capital of Kyoto as his main subject. In this print, a dyed entrance curtain discreetly shields the lattice door of what may be a geisha house in the old Gion entertainment quarter, the large polished stones set in the pavement picked out in bold textured woodblock.


Philomena Guillebaud.

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