The Three Wise Men
07 Jul 1913 - 08 Jan 1996
Watanabe studied with Yanagi Soetsu, the founder and guiding light of the Japanese Folk Art Movement which favoured straightforward, robust designs and natural colours. He also studied under Serizawa Keisuke, a noted stencil artist in the folk art tradition, and his use of strong assured black lines recalls the work of Munakata Shiko and before him a long line of nameless Buddhist artists carving powerful iconographic figures.
To make his prints Watanabe uses rough, hand-crumpled paper, over which he then paints, hand colouring in the shapes cut out of the stencil. Although his technique is Japanese, the Christian Watanabe invariably chooses subjects from the Old and New Testament for his subjects, giving them, for a Western viewer, the immediate dramatic impact of mediaeval religious art.
Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints: The Urban Bonsai, 1992, pg. 97.
Place where the work was made
Heisei period 1989 - → Japan
55.0 x 45.0 cm image;68.0 x 58.0 cm sheet
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r., ink [inscribed] "Sadao Watanabe 1991".
Gift of the artist 1993
Not on display
Where the work was made
Shown in 1 exhibition
The Urban Bonsai:
- Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane 04 Mar 1992–04 May 1992
- National Art Gallery, Wellington, Wellington 20 Jun 1992–09 Aug 1992
- Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch 12 Sep 1992–29 Oct 1992
- Manawatu Art Gallery, New Zealand 13 Nov 1992–10 Jan 1993
- The George Adams Gallery, Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne 18 Mar 1993–25 Apr 1993
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 08 May 1993–01 Aug 1993
- Lewers Bequest and Penrith Regional Art Gallery, Emu Plains 11 Mar 1994–24 Apr 1994
- Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra 19 May 1994–19 Jun 1994
- Campbelltown Arts Centre, Campbelltown 15 Jul 1994–21 Aug 1994
- Moree Plains Gallery, Moree 11 Nov 1994–24 Dec 1994
- Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre, Murwillumbah 01 Feb 1995–05 Mar 1995
Referenced in 1 publication
Unknown, Contemporary Japanese Prints : The Urban Bonsai, Sydney, 1992, 97, 108 (colour illus.). cat.no. 68