Saitō Kiyoshi (1907-1997)
Jyoko-ji Kamino-yama (Jōkōji Kaminoyama), 1962
Color woodblock print
27 3/8 x 17 11/16 inches (69.5 x 44.9 cm)
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Gift of Benjamin D. Bernstein, 1970
Here, Saitō depicts a stone path leading to a small temple surrounded by a garden. The strong contrast between the green and black colors creates a vivid impression of seeing through the gate into the distant garden. The artist plays with the viewer’s understanding of space with the bold geometric shapes of the stone path and the wide façade of the temple gate. The tension between the abstracted forms and this sense of recession draws us closer while simultaneously keeping the temple out of reach.