Kiyoshi Saito (1907-1997, Japanese)

Kiyoshi Saito, Judging CatKiyoshi Saito (1907-1997, Japanese) was born in Fukushima prefecture. Early on Saito became interested in art and after moving to Tokyo in 1932, began studying Western art at the Hongo Painting Institute; however, Saito remained mainly self-taught. Saito, at first, worked in oil painting, but began experimenting with woodblock prints around 1938. His early works are highly realistic three dimensional representations of local Japanese villages and people. During WWII, his career was put on hold. And so, it was only in 1948 that he first exhibited his works sponsored by Americans for Japanese Artists. Afterwards, the US State Department sponsored his travel and exhibitions around the US and Europe.

Saito completed all the work for his woodblock prints, drawing, carving and printing the blocks himself. Often his prints were made from a single piece of wood with the natural grain patterns evident. His works evolved into two-dimensional elongated figures that are flattened. This style is apparent in his depiction of his cats. Long and sleek, his cats are represented in an almost geometric style. Saito is credited with being one of the early founders of the Sosaku-hanga (creative print) movement.

Saito’s works were popular collectors’ items in the 1950’s and 60’s. In 1967, Saito made a woodblock print of Prime Minister Eisaku Sato for Time Magazine. His works are still highly sought after at auctions and are also displayed in major museums. The Kiyoshi Saito Museum was established in Aizu and holds many of his works.

 

Head of a Cat. Kiyoshi Saito 1953

Head of a Cat. 1953

 

 

Cat 1, Kiyoshi Saito

 

 

Cat and Kittens, Kiyoshi Saito

Cat and Kittens

 

 

Cats, 1974 Kiyoshi Saito

Cats, 1974

 

 

Girl with Cat, Kiyoshi Saito

Girl with Cat

 

 

Kiyoshi Saito - Cat and Kittens, (1955)

Cat and Kittens, 1955

 

 

Kiyoshi Saito (Japanese, 1907-1997) Seated Cat, 1951

Seated Cat, 1951

 

 

 

Kiyoshi Saito (Japanese, 1907-1997)

 

 

 

Kiyoshi Saito Two Cats 1952

Two Cats, 1952

 

 

Kiyoshi Saito, Beauty-Contest

Beauty-Contest

 

 

Kiyoshi Saito, Blac k Cat

Black Cat

 

 

Kiyoshi Saito, Black Cat with Beige Background

Black Cat with Beige Background

 

Kiyoshi Saito, Cats

 

 

Kiyoshi Saito, Four Cats

Four Cats

 

 

Kiyoshi Saito, Line Up of Cats

Line Up of Cats

 

 

Kiyoshi Saito, Mother and Kittens

Mother and Kittens

 

 

Kiyoshi Saito, Mother Love

Mother Love

 

 

Mother Love Detail, Kiyoshi Saito

Mother Love Detail

 

 

Kiyoshi Saito, Multi Colored Cats

Multi Colored Cats

 

 

Kiyoshi Saito, Stripes the Cat

Stripes the Cat

 

 

Kiyoshi Saito, Three Cats

Three Cats

 

 

Kiyoshi Saito, Two Black and White Cats

Two Black and White Cats

 

 

Kiyoshi Saito, Two Colorful Cats

Two Colorful Cats

 

 

Neko Rain, 1985, Kiyoshi Saito

Neko Rain, 1985

 

 

Two Cats and a Butterfly, Kiyoshi Saito

Two Cats and a Butterfly

 

 

Want to know more about the cat in art, history and literature? Then Revered and Reviled is the book for you. Now available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. 

 

Revered and Reviled: A Complete History of the Domestic Cat, cat history, cats

 

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