Eight Views of Kanazawa—Evening Snow at Uchikawa
When this print was designed in about 1780, the scenic beauty of the Kanazawa area, then a favorite excursion locale in the out-skirts of Edo but now part of the modern city of Yokohama, had long been a subject for ukiyoe print designers. Nishimura Shige-naga and Okumura Masanobu earlier treated this subject, designing narrow, vertical lacquer prints. A pupil of Kitao Shigemasa, Kitao Masanobu entered the field of ukiyoe as a designer of book illustrations and eventually gained lasting fame as Santo Kyoden, a writer and popular novelist. He designed prints of both actors and beautiful women, but his representative works as an ukiyoe artist are two outstanding books, Tosei Bijin Iro Kurabe (Erotic Comparisons of Contemporary Beauties) and Yoshiwara Keisei Shin-bijin-awase Jihitsu Kagami (A New Selection of Beauties among Yoshiwara Courtesans, Reflections from Their Brushes). The blacks of this print may seem flat in the reproduction, but they are given depth in the original print by beautiful gau-frage effects.