Settai Komura. Snowy Morning. 1942.
Size: 17.25 x 11.5 inches
About artists (from ‘The Art of Japan‘): Komura Settai(1887-1940). Born in Kawagoe, Saitama. Family name Taisuke. He studied nihonga under Araki Kanpo in 1903 and entered the nihonga course at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts in 1904 where he studied under Shimomura Kanzan. He graduated in 1908 and worked at the studio producing the art journal Kokka, making woodblock printed copies of paintings. After a year of private lessons with the painter Araki Kampo (1831-1915), Settai entered the Tokyo Art School, where he specialized in Japanese-style painting. He graduated in 1908 and worked for the next few years for the prestigious art journal, Kokka. Already by 1914, however he was earning his living as an illustrator and graphic artist.
In 1914 he designed a cover for the novel, Nihonbashi by Izumi Kyoka. In 1924 he also began designing stage sets and from that time on was involved in numerous theater and film productions. As a print artist, he was heavily influenced by the work of the 18th century ukiyo-e masters, Harunobu and Buncho. He illustrated serial novels of newspapers like ‘Osen ‘Odenjigoku’ for Kunieda Kanji since 1933. His unique illustrations influenced by Suzuki Harunobu’s colours and Aubrey Beardsley’s black and white drawing technique, made him a very popular illustrator. His important ‘Odenjigoku’ series was commissioned by the author of the novel, for his private use. A small number of his prints were published after his death. He also worked as an art director for the theatre and as an art consultant. (Helen Merritt, Modern Japanese Prints)