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Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites

Figures in Snow by Takahashi Hiroaki (Takahashi Shōtei)

"Figure with Snow Falling" by Takahashi Hiroaki

“Figure with Snow Falling”

“Figure with Snow Falling” by Takahashi Hiroaki depicts a man in traditional Japanese winter clothes making his way in falling snow trudging by trees and hills covered in the snow towards the traditional Japanese buildings in the background. Takahashi Hiroaki also was known as Shōtei (高橋松亭) was a 20th-century Japanese woodblock artist in the shin-hanga art movement.

Takahashi Hiroaki was trained in Nihonga or “Japanese-style painting” which is painting made in accordance with traditional Japanese artistic conventions, techniques and materials. Takahashi’s work attempts to capture cultural and everyday life. He dedicated much of his time to paintings for exhibitions and illustrations for publications. His nostalgic “Old Japan” art is highly sought after by Western collectors.

Figure with Snow Falling

  • Title:             Figure with Snow Falling (Sangaku no bosetsu)
  • Artist:           Takahashi Hiroaki or Takahashi Shōtei
  • Dates:           c. 1940
  • Materials:     Colour woodblock prints on paper
  • Origins:        Japan
  • Dimensions: 38 x 16.5cm
  • Museum:      Queensland Art Gallery

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"Figure with Parasol, Protect against Snow" by Takahashi Hiroaki

“Figure with Parasol, Protect against Snow”

“Figure with Parasol, Protect against Snow” by Takahashi Hiroaki depicts a woman in traditional Japanese winter clothes with Parasol to protect her against the snow, making her way along a fence. Takahashi Hiroaki also was known as Shōtei (高橋松亭) was a 20th-century Japanese woodblock artist in the ‘shin hanga’ art movement.

In 1907, as a successful artist, Takahashi Hiroaki was recruited by Shōzaburō Watanabe to contribute to the ‘shin hanga’ or “new prints” art movement in Japan. Watanabe helped to fulfil the Western demand for Ukiyoe woodblock prints which were similar to the historical masters of that genre, including Hiroshige. In 1923 the Great Kanto earthquake and fire destroyed Watanabe’s facilities which included all the Shin Hanga woodblocks. Takahashi had to recreate the designs destroyed in the Great Kanto earthquake and he also continued to produce new woodblocks.

Takahashi Hiroaki

Hiroaki used a variety of names, signatures and seals during his lifetime. From 1907 until 1922 he used the name Shotei and after 1922 Hiroaki or Komei. Takahashi Hiroaki was visiting his daughter in Hiroshima during the summer of 1945. At 8:15 in the morning of August 6, 1945, the Enola Gay, a Boeing B-29 bomber dropped the first atomic bomb in the history of civilisation over Hiroshima and the great ‘shin hanga’ artist was never seen again.

Figure with Parasol, Protect against Snow (Secchu zakura)

  • Title:                 Figure with Parasol, Protect against Snow (Secchu zakura)
  • Artist:               Takahashi Hiroaki or Takahashi Shōtei
  • Dates:               c. 1940
  • Materials:         Colour woodblock prints on paper
  • Origins:            Japan
  • Dimensions:    38 x 16.5cm
  • Museum:         Queensland Art Gallery

Takahashi Hiroaki

Hiroaki used a variety of names, signatures and seals during his lifetime. From 1907 until 1922 he used the name Shotei and after 1922 Hiroaki or Komei. Takahashi Hiroaki was visiting his daughter in Hiroshima during the summer of 1945. At 8:15 in the morning of August 6, 1945, the Enola Gay, a Boeing B-29 bomber dropped the first atomic bomb in the history of civilisation over Hiroshima and the great ‘shin hanga’ artist was never seen again.

Takahashi Hiroaki

A Tour of the Queensland Art Gallery

A tour of the Museums in Australia

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“Vision without action is a daydream.
Action without vision is a nightmare.”

– Japanese Proverb

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Photo Credit: GM

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