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Details
RYUZABURO UMEHARA
(Japanese, 1888-1986)
Spring Scenery of West Lake, Hangzhou
titled, signed and dated in Japanese (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
51.5 x 63.4 cm. (20 1/4 x 25 in.)
Painted in 1929
Provenance
Private Collection of Mr.Mosaku Sorimachi
Private Collection, Japan
Literature
Bancho Shobo, Works by Ryuzaburo Umehara 1926-1930, Japan, 1931 (illustrated, plate 11).
Ishihara Kyuryudo, Ryuzaburo Umehara, Japan, 1944 (illustrated, p. 234).
Sale room notice
Please note Lot 217 has below publishing records:
Bancho Shobo, Works by Ryuzaburo Umehara 1926-1930, Japan, 1931 (illustrated, plate 11).
Ishihara Kyuryudo, Ryuzaburo Umehara, Japan, 1944 (illustrated, p. 234).

Provenance of Lot 217 should read as:
Private Collection of Mr.Mosaku Sorimachi
Private Collection, Japan

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Lot Essay

Ryuzaburou Umehara was a very influential artist in the Taiwanese Art scene of the 1930s, frequently traveling from Japan to sketch. He was even one of the jurors in the Taiwan Exhibitions of Fine Art. He was a devoted pupil of the French painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir when Umehara was in Europe. Upon his return, he began promoting y?ga (Japanese-Western) art. He integrated the play of light and shadow of Impressionism and the bold colors of Fauvism into traditional Japanese art, creating paintings of local themes with a wide color spectrum and impressive lines. This resulted in Umehara's unique style of 'Japanese-Western art'.

It is widely known that sketches are the basis of many great paintings. Umehara's superb sketching ability is undoubtedly exemplified in Lady (Lot 218), where he delineates the face of a young woman in charcoal. Her delicate features, curly hair, slender arm, along with the folds of her clothing are so vividly represented that they leap off the paper. This work demonstrates Umehara's ability to to depict the essence of a lady in just a few lines.

Umehara was invited to China in 1929 to be a juror for the first China Art Exhibition. Spring Scenery of West Lake, Hangzhou (Lot 217) was painted during this time. In Lot 217, the treatment of light and color is impressionistic in style, utilizing the lakeshore and trees to split the canvas into two parts. The arc of the mountain and the curve of the lakeshore correspond to each other and the transparent colors give the picture a sense of crisp, fresh air. The paint is applied in a flat manner, creating a two-dimensional picture with a reduced sense of perspective that is akin to Japanese ukiyo-e woodcuts.

In Cannes (Lot 219), Umehara paints with passionate Fauvist colors. Saturated orange contrasts with blue and green, layered with gold and silver paints-the work is full of ornate and decorative appeal. He allows the viewer to feel the energy within the picture through his powerful and gestural brushwork. Utilizing the media of Western painting along with his rich use of color and lively brushstrokes, Umehara turns a simple sketch into a unique expression of native spirit and personal artistic style.

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