The Woodblock Prints of Noel Nouet

Althought the entire graphical work of Noel Nouet perhaps appears small when compared with the outcome of decades of activity of other "shin hanga" artists (e.g., Kawase Hasui or Hiroshi Yoshida), nevertheless, his prints are part of the "shin hanga" development and history as well. Influenced by his French heritage, he shows us the scenery of Showa-era Tokyo in a romantic way.

All prints of this "Scenes of Tokyo Views" are printed in the "oban" format, approximately 24 x 40cm. The two earliest prints, from 1935. being almost monochromatic.

Many of the designs are still available today, either as original early editions or as a later editions, probably from recut blocks. Interestingly, the prices even for later editions are 50% above the Doi-published reprints of Hasui or Koitsu. The reason? Mrs. Suzue Doi gave me a simple and somehow convincing explanation: "The carving work!!" Based on Nouet's intricate and highly detailed pen sketches, each line had to be transferred into a carved line, adding all together, certainly it ends up at hundreds of yards carved for a single key-block.

Cover page, top, and details, right

"Tokyo fukkei zen nijuyon mai",

"Scenes of Tokyo, Twenty-four views," published by "Han moto Doi Hangaten" of Tokyo in Showa 12 (1937)



 The Scenes of Tokyo

 Kikyomon, Showa 10 (1935)

 Zozoji, Showa 10 (1935)

 Babasakimon, Showa 11 (1936)

 Sakuradamon, Showa 11 (1936)

 Hibiya, Showa 11 (1936)

 Akasaka Mitsuke, Showa 11 (1936)

 Benkeibori, (Showa 11) 1936

 Kameido, Showa 11 (1936)


 Zenjoji (Asakusa), (Showa 11) 1936

Kabukiza, (Showa 11) 1936

Yasukunijinja, (Showa 11) 1936

 Shinobazu Ike, (Showa 11) 1936

 Ryogoku Bashi (Showa 11) 1936

 Kuromon (Showa 11) 1936

Ueno Koen (Showa 11) 1936

Ochanomizu (Showa 11) 1936


 Nihonbashi, (Showa 11) 1936

Sumida Gawa, (Showa 11) 1936

Meiji Jingu, (Showa 11) 1936

Inogashira Koen, (Showa 11) 1936

 Shiba Furukawa, (Showa 11) 1936

Kioicho, (Showa 12) 1937

Ikegami Honmonji (Showa 12) 1937

Kagurazaka, Showa 12 (1937)

 Further prints:

Tokyo, (Fan Print) Showa 11, 1936

Kanda Myojin, (Showa 25) 1950

At the present time, we do not know whether or not any additional woodblock prints of Noul Nouet exist. Any input from our readers on this matter would be appreciated!!

(c) Andreas Grund and Thomas Crossland -- April 2003

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