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The Letter (From Southern Italy)

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

The Letter (From Southern Italy)

by Takahashi Rikio, 1985

IHL Cat. #587

About This Print

One of nineteen prints in Takahashi's series of prints featuring the artist's "letters" from places around the world.  This series began in 1984 with the print titled The Letter and concluded in 1994 with the print The Letter (From Season).   In this series, Takahashi pays homage to various cities, countries and places including Geneva, Paris, London, New York, Switzerland, Kyoto, Southern Italy, Mexico and Jerusalem. 

Takahashi's use of bright colors and abstracted shapes captures the sun, sky and sea of southern Italy and he writes his letter to us in an abstract script that dances across the print.  As with many of his other prints, Takahashi employs deep embossing to bring three dimensionality to this work. I can't help but seeing Hokusai's great wave at the top of this print.

Also see the print The Letter (From New York) in this collection.

Wall Card from the Exhibition Three Masters of Abstraction
Hagiwara Hideo, Ida Shōichi and Takahashi Rikio
November 3, 2018 - March 24, 2019
Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Avenue, Portland, OR 97205

高橋力雄 手紙 (南イタリアから)

Takahashi Rikio (1917–1998)

The Letter (From Southern Italy) 


Color woodblock print with embossing on paper 
Lent by Irwin Lavenberg, L2017.103.19

Takahashi’s travel prints are his most dynamic, moving away from the more muted colors and static forms of his NIWA prints. This “letter” speaks of ocean waves and colorful beach blankets with an invitation to join the artist on a lovely beach in Southern Italy. The deep embossing adds three-dimensionality to this work.

Catalogue Raisonné Entry

#434 - Catalogue Raisonné
(Rikio Takahashi, The Woodblock Prints published by Abe Publishing LTD., 1998)

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #587
 Title The Letter (From Southern Italy)  手紙 (南イタリアから)
 Series The Letter
 Takahashi Rikio (1917-1998)
 Pencil signed by artist - Rikio Takahashi in English
 Seal none
 Date 1985
 Edition 15 of 50
 Publisher  self-published
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent
 Genre sosaku-hanga (creative print)
 H x W Paper19 1/2 x 18 3/4 in. (49.5 x 47.6 cm)
 H x W Image
 Collections This Print
 Reference Literature Catalogue Raisonné: Rikio Takahashi, The Woodblock Printspublished by Abe Publishing LTD., 1998, p. 169 number 434.
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