Paul Binnie Sankeien Gardens

Paul Binnie “Sankeien Gardens” artwork
As you may know, I have been working on a series of landscape woodblock prints called Nihon Meisho Zu-e (Famous Views of Japan), of which three have been released already; Aka Fuji, Miyajima No Torii and Himeji Castle. I have now completed the fourth in the series, Sankeien, which is a view of the famous Sankeien Gardens in Yokohama in the snow. I visited the garden in , and of course it was cherry blossom time, which was extremely beautiful, but unfortunately Yoshida Hiroshi did a view of these very gardens with cherry blossom (Abe #191), so I decided to use some artistic license and make it a snow scene, in shades of blue, lilac and grey-green, which tones well with the horizonal image of Himeji Castle, also in blues: in fact, these two were conceived as a pendant to one-another. I have used gofun printed over the entire lower area to make a very snowy white, rather than keep the paper blank as many printmakers do, and I also have used mica to highlight the ice on the frozen edge of the lake, which gives a silver sheen to the surface. One thing which you may not be able to see in the attached scan, but which adds greatly to the effect of the print, is a line of embossed footprints, walking past the lake edge, seemingly compressing the snow underfoot. If the print is handled, or hung on a wall, these appear in subtle shadow, and add an extra dimension to the design. As always in this series, there is also the blind-printed 'Binnie' in the bottom margin, and the format is identical to Himeji Castle, dai-ōban Yoko-e, 29.5 x 40.5cm (11 1/2 x 16 inches). The edition is as usual 100, and the price is the same as all the other dai-ōban prints.
Paul Binnie,
Paul Binnie
Sankeien Gardens
Japanese title
Sankei-en 三渓園
Series title
Famous Views of Japan
Japanese series title
Nihon meisho zu-e 日本名所図絵
Colour woodblock print on paper
Paper dimensions (h × w)
29.5 × 40.8 cm
Image dimensions (h × w)
26 × 37.5 cm
Edition size
Artist's proofs
1 known
Paul Binnie
Landscapes (Fūkei-ga 風景画)
Van den Ing, E (ed.) , Paul Binnie: A Dialogue with the Past, Art Media Resources, Chicago, p. 123
Catalogue number
86 (L178)
Supplementary images