I am off to ski for a holiday weekend here, in the best powder anyone can remember for a long, long time. So, in honor of the wonderful snow here this year and the crazy snowy winter in the US, I will leave you with a series of Japanese woodblock images of snow falling. Viewed in chronological order, they give such a clear narrative of the development of the medium, changing artistic styles, and advances in print making technology. All have a marvelously realistic but magical quality to their depiction of the snowfall.

Hokusai, Fuji in Deep Snow, from 100 Views of Fuji, c. 1834

Hiroshige, Gion Shrine in Snow, from Famous Places in Kyoto, c. 1834

Hiroshige, Atagoshita and Yabu Lane from 100 Views of Edo, 1857

Kawase Hasui, Spring Snow at Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto, 1932

Kiyoshi Saito, Winter in Aizu, 1969

Tomikichiro Tokuriki, Snow Over Kiyomizu Temple, 1983

Masao Ido, Nanzenji in Snow, 2003

Seiji Sano, Snow Falling Softly, 2004

Keisuke Yamamoto, Kiyomizu Temple Covered with Snow, 2010

And one more I can’t help but share, even though it is not a print at all, but a photograph from a series by Yuji Obata. It took Obata five years to figure out how to photograph the snowflakes directly as they fell from the sky. For more images and information see James Danzinger’s blog, The Year In Pictures.

Yuji Obata, Homage to Wilson A. Bentley #10, 2005 - 2006

Enjoy! I hope you all get some time on the slopes this year…

For more on Japanese prints see Hanga 101…a Quick Primer on Japanese Prints.

Image credits: 1, 3-6. via Ronin Gallery, 2. via Hiroshige.org.uk, 7 & 8. 50th CWAJ Print Show Catalogue, 9 55th CWAJ Print Show Catalogue, 10.via The Year In Pictures