Little Egret, Standing on One Leg in the Rain at Night - Ohara Koson Ink on paper/colour woodcut 1928
In this print the artist was less concerned with producing an accurate depiction of a heron; he was more involved in capturing the spirit of the bird and in the decorative qualities of the woodcut. This print of a heron in the rain is one of the most stylised and best loved of Koson’s designs. The composition is almost entirely in black, with just a little green for the beak, yellow for the eyes and grey for the legs. The heron’s body and the lines of rain in the background are set against the dark, nocturnal sky. The wings are portrayed in relief.
Richard Illing describes this print as ‘a masterpiece of graphic art’….one of the most highly valued designs by Koson.”
Kacho-e is the Japanese word for prints of birds and flowers. Koson Ohara is the best-known printmaker for kacho-e in the twentieth century. During Koson’s lifetime his prints were exported in large numbers to the United States.
Koson Ohara is also know under various combinations of the names Shoson and Hoson