Set of FOUR woodblock prints on special Kizuki Hosho paper from the Book-of the-Month Club series, circa late 1960's/early 1970's, each signed and bearing a red seal, by the important post-war Japanese sosaku hanga artist KIYOSHI SAITO (1907-1997). Saito was one of the first woodblock artists from Japan to be widely accepted by an international audience. After the war his work was exhibited at the Sao Paolo Biennale in 1951, and the recognition achieved there launched his commercial international career. He is considered today one of the undisputed masters of post-war woodblock art. The artist's imagery includes figures and traditional landscapes, in a distinctive modern style but paying homage to the centuries old woodblock tradition in Japan. This series consists of two landscapes and two of Japanese women. Saito lived to a great age and prospered from his long and successful career. This set is said by the previous owner to have been acquired at a sale of possessions of actress Kim Basinger. The prints are in good though not flawless condition. As they were apparently never framed, there are light handling creases, rippling, lightly bent corners, and very, very lightly soiled areas, virtually all of this in the margins; but colors are rich and not faded. Measurements are 11 1/2" by 17 1/8". Along with the four prints is the original promotional brochure from the Book-of-the-Month Club through which the prints were commercially offered to an American audience at mid century at $20 a print. The brochure suggests that the original set consisted of six prints, but I acquired these as a set of four: "The Seasons: Spring"; "The Seasons: Summer"; and two "Figure in Traditional Costume". More photos, of the margins etc., upon request (only nine photos allowed per Ruby Lane listing, not sufficient in this case).
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