(Japanese, 1883-1967)


Oil on Paper

15 x 18 Inches

Signed Lower Right in Kanji, "Sanzo" 三造

Dated Lower Right in Kanji, "Year 34" of the Showa Era

1959 in the Gregorian Calendar

Framed Dimensions: 20½ H x 23 W x 2¼ D Inches


Artist, teacher and costume designer, Sanzo Wada worked during a turbulent time in avant-garde Japanese art and cinema. A multi-talented artist who gained early fame as a Western-style oil painter, his career spanned the late Meiji-era through the mid-twentieth century. In addition to numerous prizes and medals for his painting, he received the 1955 Academy Award for costume design for his work in the movie Gates of Hell. He also received awards for his pioneering work on color theory, which he researched and published in the 1920s and is still in use today.


Sanzo Wada graduated from the Western-style painting division of Tokyo School of Fine Arts. Studied in Europe 1907-1915; traveled to India and Burma. Appointed Member Imperial Arts Academy in 1927 and taught at Tokyo School of Fine Arts from 1927.


According to Shinagawa Kiyoomi, editor-in-chief of the book of paintings in print "Dia Nihon Gyorui Gashuu" by Ohno Bakufu, Sanzo Wada wanted to make a series of prints that expressed the rapid modernization that Japan was experiencing in the 1930s. As an example of this modernization, he chose to depict workers in Showa-era occupations, not just those occupations of recent times, but also those traditional occupations that were gradually disappearing. His three-part woodblock print series Occupations of Shōwa Japan in Pictures, remains his most well-known graphic work.




The Lavenberg Collection of Japanese Prints, website; et al.







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