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“Prayers at Sunset, Udaipur, India” by Charles W. Bartlett

'Prayers at Sunset, Udaipur, India', woodblock print by Charles W. Bartlett, 1919, Honolulu Academy of Arts

“Prayers at Sunset, Udaipur, India” by Charles W. Bartlett depicts the Maghrib prayer in Udaipur in India. The Maghrib prayer or the ‘”West [sun] prayer”, is prayed just after sunset and is the fourth of five formal daily prayers performed by practising Muslims. This scene beautifully portrays Udaipur also known as the “City of Lakes,” or the “Venice of the East,” which is a major city of the Udaipur district in the Indian state of Rajasthan.

This woodblock print was published in Japan by Watanabe Shōzaburō in 1919. Bartlett was one of the very first Western artists to have his work publish in the Japanese woodblock print form which led to the rejuvenation of this genre and the Shin-hanga movement in western art circles.

Charles William Bartlett was an English painter and printmaker who had studied in London and Paris and worked and exhibited across several European countries. In his 50’s he travelled to India, Ceylon, Indonesia, China, and Japan. He arrived in Japan in 1915, where he met woodblock print publisher Watanabe Shōzaburō who was a major force in early 20th-century Japanese art called shin-hanga. Watanabe published 21 woodblocks from Bartlett’s designs, including six prints of Japanese landscapes. In 1917, Bartlett and his wife left Japan and settled in Hawaii. He visited Japan again in 1919, where he created sixteen shin-hanga prints for Watanabe.


Essential Facts:

  • Title:                        Prayers at Sunset, Udaipur, India
  • Artist:                      Charles W. Bartlett
  • Year:                        1919
  • Medium:                 Woodblock print
  • Museum:                 Honolulu Museum of Art

Artist Essential Facts:

  • Name:                  Charles W. Bartlett
  • Born:                    1860 – Bridport, Dorset, England
  • Died:                     1940 (aged 79) – Hawaii
  • Nationality:         English
  • Notable works:
    • Amritsar, 1916, woodblock print
    • Prayers at Sunset (Udaipur, India), c. 1919, woodblock print
    • Hana Maui Coast, 1920, watercolour and ink
    • Amritsar, India, 1923-27, hand-coloured etching


““Dare to dance, leave shame at home.” Hawaiian Proverb



Photo Credit: Charles W. Bartlett [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons