Artist's Son

Benkei Bridge from the series Scenes of Last Tokyo

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Artist's Son

by Sekino Jun'ichirō, 1952

Outskirts of Nara

IHL Cat. #1696

About This Print

One of two almost identical portraits of Sekino's son Yowsaku1, both originally created in 1952 and pictured in the artist's c. 1961 self-published catalog of prints, as shown below.

Plates 1 and 2 in Sekino's self-published catalog "関野準一郎版画作品集 Jun'ichiro Sekino Prints"

In the same year, Sekino also created the below oil painting, likely prior to the prints.

Oil Painting
画家の息子 1952作 The Artist's Son
source: Sekino Jun'ichirō hanga sakuhin shū 關野準一郎版画作品集
[Jun-ichiro Sekino The Prints], Sekino, Abe Shuppansha, 1997, p. 193.

The print shown above on the right, uses a newspaper transfer process to create the left part of the background and Sekino played around with different iterations of the background as can be seen below in the various printings. Note that the descriptive information underneath each image is as it appears with the  source image. 

画家の息子 (後に「青い少年」 に改作
1952作 no. 125
48 x 39 cm
The Artist's Son (Later remade “The Boy in Blue”)
source: Sekino Jun'ichirō hanga sakuhin shū
關野準一郎版画作品集 [Jun-ichiro Sekino The Prints], Sekino, Abe Shuppansha, 1997 p. 167
My Son, 1956
 Image: 18 3/4 x 14 13/16 in. (47.6 x 37.6 cm); Paper: 21 1/8 x 17 1/16 in. (53.6 x 43.4 cm)
source: Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Felix Juda (M.79.176.67)

My Son (Gaka no shonen - Artist's Boy), 1956
Figurative Dimensions: 21.5 x 27.5"
source: Berkeley Morrison Library 
Graphic Arts Loan Collection

The Artist's Son, 1952 
Color woodblock print
55.5 x 44.4 cm (21 13/16 x 17 7/16 in.)
source: Art Institute Chicago, 
Japanese Print Purchase Fund, 1953.442

Prints marked "Ilmé etat" [2nd state]

Gaka no shonen (My son)
12/50, IIme état (second state), 1956 
woodcut in colors with mica
Gaka no Shonen (My Son), 1956 Woodcut printed in colors with mica on Japanese paper, signed in pencil, dated and annotated '12/50 IIme état' (aside from the edition of 20)
18 1/4 x 14 1/2 in. sheet 21 3/4 x 17 1/8 in.
source: Bonhams

43/50, IIme état (second state), 1956

42/100, IIme état (second state), 1956

Sekino's children have often appeared in his prints and Oliver Statler notes: "Ingenuous and friendly, he consistently manages to give the impression of fresh pleasure with the world, but nothing makes him light up like consideration of his three extraordinarily handsome and winning children, two boys and a girl..."2

1 Like his father, Yowsaku (b. 1944) is a print artist whose background and work can be seen on the website created by his brother Junpei
2 Modern Japanese Prints: An Art Reborn, Oliver Statler, Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1956, p. 65-56.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1696
 Title Artist's Son 画家の息子
(as titled in Sekino's self-published c. 1961 catalog "関野準一郎版画作品集 Jun'ichiro Sekino Prints") 
 Series none
 Sekino Jun’ichirō (1914 - 1988)
Jun. Sekino in pencil and stamped in ink
 準 Jun seal (as shown above)
 Publication Date 1952 
 Edition 80/100
 Publisher self-published
 Carver self-carved
 Printer most likely printed by one of the artist's studio printers
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent - minor margin trimming; minor foxing and water stain in margins
 Genre sosaku hanga (creative print)
 Format dai oban
 H x W Paper 21 x 17 1/4 in. (43.2 x 54.6 cm)
 H x W Image 18 5/8 x 15 1/8 in. (32.1 x 45.4 cm)
 Collections This Print Harvard Art Museum 1974.102.77; Carnegie Museum of Art, 89.28.1204; Five Colleges and Historic Deerfield Museum Consortium SC 2012.56.19; The British Museum 1987,0316,0.444 (dated 
 Reference Literature Modern Japanese Prints: The Twentieth Century, Amanda T. Zehnder, Carnegie Museum of Art, 2009, p. 157; 関野準一郎版画作品集 Jun'ichiro Sekino Prints, publisher Sekino Jun'ichiro, Tokyo, c. 1961, pl. 1.
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