Saito used muted earth colors and textures inherent in the ink and woodblock to set the mood of his images. He was particularly admired for his ability to capture the bleakness of winter landscapes, as in this woodcut where an isolated figure and reduced palette create a feeling of loneliness. Saito was the first modern Japanese printmaker to win an award abroad. In 1951 his work was chosen over submissions by Japanese painters and sculptors at the Biennial Exhibition in São Paulo, Brazil. This international recognition did much to establish the legitimacy of the søsaku-hanga printmaking movement in Japan.
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