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Circus No. 7

Play ground (1)

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Circus No. 7

by Hagiwara Hideo, 1968

Breeze No. 2

IHL Cat. #182

About This Print

Print 7 in the Circus/Clown series.  There appears to be a number of printing techniques used in this work.  While described as a woodblock by multiple sources, I don't see circular baren marks on the back of the print (see detail below), although the artist is known for using both traditional and non-traditional barens (such as one using a wire coil from an electric heater) in his work and other techniques that might hide the rubbing marks of the baren.  When I first saw this print, I assumed it was a lithograph, coupled with other techniques.  Jenkins, notes that in another work in this series, "Clown No. 8," "Hagiwara has combined traditional woodblock techniques with a form of woodcut intaglio, which he invented, which creates lines that resemble those found in etching or drypoint."1  "Hagiwara achieves this effect by scratching lines into his woodblockswith large sharpened nails or spikes.  He inks the blocks withwater-base colors, then gently wipes the color off the surface as inintaglio plate printmaking, and, with full baren (rubbing pad) pressureon the back side of the paper, lifts sufficient color from the lines tocreate what we see." The pock marks seen in the detail below, suggest a type of embossing technique also may have been employed.  Mica highlights have been added to the color in several places.

1 Images of a Changing World, Japanese Prints of the Twentieth Century, Donald Jenkins, Portland Art Museum, 1983, p. 122
2 Ibid; p. 121

Circus No. 7 verso
Circus No. 7 detail

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #182
 Title or Description サーカス No. 7 Circus No. 7 [as inscribed on print]
 [Saakasu No. 7, Circus No. 7]
 Series Circus and Clown
 Hagiwara Hideo (1913 - 2007)
 pencil signed by artist in English – Hideo Hagiwara in lower left margin
 Publication Date 1968
 Edition 3 of 50
 Publisher self-published
 Carver self-carved
 Printer self-printed
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good -  minor mat line and one foxing spot in upper right about 2” in from corner; some waviness to paper
 Genre sosaku hanga (creative print)
 H x W Paper 12 x 18 3/4 in. (30.5 x 47.6 cm)
 H x W Image 9 3/4 x 15 5/8 in. (24.8 x 39.7 cm)
 Collections This Print
 Reference Literature