Posted on: 1 July 2012

Great Temple in Madura - 1931
Yoshida Hiroshi , (Japanese, 1876 - 1950)
Showa era

Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
H: 40.6 W: 27.5 cm

Yoshida traveled by train to Madurai (Madura) in the present-day Indian state of Tamil Nadu where he visited the great temple dedicated to the Hindu goddess Minakshi, and her husband, Shiva. Built in the seventeenth century, the temple is entered through long corridors. Here the artist depicts the area just inside the entrance to the temple, where bright daylight gives partial illumination to the stone pillars in the forms of a Yali, a supernatural lionlike animal. Yoshida's fascination with rendering light and darkness is clearly expressed in his laborious printing of a layered color to reproduce the effect of natual light falling on the monumental stone carvings.

Copyright © Smithsonian Institution

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This man is amazing - he captures these scenes like no other.

And with such beauty!! I hope you are aware that woodblock printing is an extremely difficult process. It has no scope for any error at all...

We all live in hope. I am aware that it is a sophisticated art form - but truly not versed in detail about these things. However, you have whetted my appetite to know more. Might the day arrive when I can actuallty indulge myself and learn about something new and worthwhile? I loved this temple when I visited it (altho not the city!) - was there during a late November monsoon about six or seven years ago - and paddled through water a foot deep in order to get to the entrance.

Back to the print - the quality of light is remarkable, isn't it?


How beautifully the play of light and shadow has been rendered. A photographer with the best camera may perhaps not be able to capture it this well.. Awesome!!!


amazing attention to detail

very beautiful n dramatic also!

so beautiful

Shreedhar Iyengar, Sree Arunabha Chakraborty

so fine, and accurate!