We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Red sails in the sunset



Saitō Kaoru


1931 –

No image
  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Heisei period 1989 - → Japan
    Media category
    Materials used
    30.0 x 36.0 cm image; 43.5 x 52.0 cm sheet
    Signature & date

    Signed l.r., pencil "Kaoru". Dated l.c., pencil " '91".

    Gift of the artist 1993
    Not on display
    Accession number
    Artist information
    Saitō Kaoru

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Saito is a master at manipulating the sensuous subtle tones obtainable with the European mezzotint technique. It is only in the recent post-war decades that mezzotint has flowered as an artistic medium in Japan. Its pioneers were Hasegawa Kiyoshi (1891-1980) and Hamaguchi Yozo (born 1909), both of whom studied in France in their search to revive mezzotint techniques, and who have achieved international recognition for their technical virtuosity in the use of mezzotint. Today Saito is acknowledged, with Hamaguchi, as the most accomplished technician in mezzotint working in Japan. Now living in Kanagawa Prefecture where he was born, Saito was educated at the Academy 46 Art Institute.

    In this small rich gem of a print, Saito expressively explores the medium of colour mezzotint to capture the quietude of red sails drifting rhythmically on a still sea at sunset. This is a more unusual subject for Saito who is perhaps better known for his studies of women, beautifully dressed in traditional kimono.

    Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints: The Urban Bonsai, 1992, pg. 68.

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

    • The Urban Bonsai, Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane, 04 Mar 1992–04 May 1992

      The Urban Bonsai, National Art Gallery, Wellington, Wellington, 20 Jun 1992–09 Aug 1992

      The Urban Bonsai, Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch, 12 Sep 1992–29 Oct 1992

      The Urban Bonsai, Manawatu Art Gallery, New Zealand, 13 Nov 1992–10 Jan 1993

      The Urban Bonsai, The George Adams Gallery, Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne, 18 Mar 1993–25 Apr 1993

      The Urban Bonsai, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 08 May 1993–01 Aug 1993

      The Urban Bonsai, Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest, Emu Plains, 11 Mar 1994–24 Apr 1994

      The Urban Bonsai, Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra, 19 May 1994–19 Jun 1994

      The Urban Bonsai, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Campbelltown, 15 Jul 1994–21 Aug 1994

      The Urban Bonsai, Bank Art Museum Moree, Moree, 11 Nov 1994–24 Dec 1994

      The Urban Bonsai, Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre, Murwillumbah, 01 Feb 1995–05 Mar 1995

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication