By the highly underrated Japanese-born artist most closely associated with Minnesota, YAMADA BASKE (1869-1934), this is an early, ethereal 1904 watercolor landscape with tiny figures on a Japanese-style foot bridge, and nearby trees, in the spring, painted in a dreamy, reverie style with delicate light colors. Being so light and intentionally blanched in style, it is very difficult to photograph. The work measures 17 1/2" by 11 1/2" (24" by 17 1/2" framed). On the reverse in pencil it is titled "May Rain" along with the $50 original price, and the work is signed at lower right (just slightly above the artist's typical red cypher and the "04" date nearby). The artist was born in Tokyo as Fukawa Jin Basuke. The young man was in the United States by 1885, where he attended the Art Students League in New York and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Among his teachers was William Merritt Chase; in 1907 Baske was described at the Philadelphia Museum School as a brilliant student. In later years Baske evidently returned to Japan, teaching there in Yokohama and Tokyo. His works appear rarely, and the cypher/signature is often difficult to read. He is best known for watercolor, and for his gauzy, light-infused works, featuring a distinctive delicate light color palette, as seen in this example. There was some old mold on the inside of the glass when found. That glass has been cleaned off, but some residual browning from that old situation has been transferred to the paper at lower right. **See a much larger work by the artist in my shop.**
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