Helen HYDE

A graduate of Wellesley college, Californian Helen Hyde (1868-1919) was well-versed in European culture and the daughter of an artistic and progressive family. While in Paris in the 1890s, she studied the work of Mary Cassatt, but most significantly, she met a leading proponent of the Japonisme movement in artist Félix Régamey. Writing home about his introduction to the "loveliness of things Japanese" was the beginning of an artistic sea change for Hyde. She lived for 15 years in Japan, embracing the culture and working within the traditional collaborative studio system. While she mastered the style and printmaking techniques, she also brought nuanced emotional depth to her subjects, conveying a subtle range of tenderness and maternity. Hyde's experimentation with unusual color combinations (especially with intense chromatic greens and deep pinks) gave her prints a dramatic intensity. Print sales allowed her to support herself entirely as an artist. She produced sixty-seven woodcuts, never in runs of more than 200 copies. By 1914, she had signed an estimated 16,000 prints.
Helen Hyde - The Bath - Japanese Mother in Kimono holding bare baby over wooden wash tub - detail

The Bath

HYDE, Helen

Color woodcut on very thin wove Japan paper. Ref: Mason & Mason 59.This composition is used as the back cover illustration for the Masons' book...

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