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Verne Gallery - A Gallery of Japanese Prints and Paintings
You are here > Online Catalog > Ryohei Tanaka > Artist Biography

b. 1933 Takatsuki City, Osaka
1963 Studied etching with Professor Furuno Yoshio

Ryohei Tanaka is one of the most important etchers in Kyoto, Japan. He depicts mainly farmhouses or images of rural Japan.

Ryohei Tanaka (famous enough to sign his work simply Ryohei, his given name) has a knack of presenting a view of Japan that not only encompasses the realities of how one always wants it to remain but also the timeless serenity of each idyllic spot he chooses to portray. He insists that all of his etchings are of real places, and each invitingly beckons us to visit so that we can share the artist’s pleasure.

Ryohei has been releasing his detailed etchings for more than thirty years, traveling in the countryside of western Japan where one can still find charming thatched farmhouses and peaceful country lanes. He works mostly in black and white, with an occasional appearance of a sepia or multicolored print. The appeal of his work is universal, probably because his own heartfelt pleasure and pride can be immediately sensed by the viewer.

The most difficult aspect of the etching, aquatint, and dypoint techniques is the arduous task of making the detailed plate itself. Perhaps Ryohei feels that once this is accomplished the printing process is not so difficult, and that there is little point in making a small edition after the efforts that go into the plate. The metal plate is capable of withstanding the pressure, and an international audience is always clamoring for his work. Amassing Ryohei’s engaging glimpses of the beauty of Japan suggest this variation on the slogan of a famous American potato chip company “Bet you can’t have just one!” There are few collectors who have not repeatedly succumbed to a craving for yet another Ryohei treat, and not many who have had to do without their dinners, as they are so reasonably priced.

Collections:
Fogg Museum
Cincinnati Art Museum
Boston Museum of Fine Arts
Metropolitan Museum of Fine Arts
Joseph H. Hirshhorn Collection

Ryohei Tanaka, Persimmons and Old Farm House #1

Ryohei Tanaka, Village in Mountain

Ryohei Tanaka, Arihara in Autumn

Ryohei Tanaka, House with Big Tree

Ryohei Tanaka, Snow Persimmons

Ryohei Tanaka, Tsuji Pine Tree

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