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Autumn at Saruiwa, Shiobara, 1949, by Kawase Hasui (Japanese, 1883–1957)
Kawase Hasui’s impressionist-influenced images emphasized the beauty of Japan’s rural countryside and the changing seasons. Often on the road in search of inspiration, Hasui brought his watercolor sketches to the printing studio of publisher Watanabe Shōzaburō, where they were transformed into woodblock prints. One of the greatest and most prolific artists of the shin hanga movement, Hasui (Japanese, 1883–1957) produced over six hundred woodblock prints during his forty-year career. In 1956, he was awarded the prestigious title of Living National Treasure by the Japanese government.