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Article

Elizabeth F. Bennett

Chinese calligrapher, minor painter and seal-carver. He passed the civil service examination to become a jinshi in 1789. He then had a series of official posts, serving on the Board of Justice, as an examiner and as a prefectural magistrate first at Huizhou in Guangdong Province and then at Yangzhou in Jiangsu Province. Yi is generally recognized as a leading figure in the stele studies (...

Article

Stephen Addiss

Japanese painter, poet, calligrapher and book illustrator. The son of an Edo merchant, he studied calligraphy from a very early age under the noted Chinese-style calligrapher Mitsui Shinna (1700–82). He also received a Confucian education, unusual at that time for a merchant’s son. From about ...

Article

Frank L. Chance

Japanese painter and book designer (see fig.). He was the son of the poet Tani Rokkoku (1729–1809). As his father and grandfather were retainers of the Tayasu family, descended from the eighth Tokugawa shogun, Bunchō inherited samurai status and received a small stipend to meet the responsibilities this entailed. In his youth he began studying the painting techniques of the ...

Article

Hong Sŏn-p’yo

Korean calligrapher and painter of the late Chosŏn period (1392–1910). Although he was a descendant of a distinguished family, because he was born out of wedlock his official post remained that of a civil servant. Along with fellow enthusiasts of pukhak (‘Northern [i.e. Chinese] learning’) such as Pak Chi-wŏn and Hong Tae-yong (...

Article

Choki  

Japanese, 18th – 19th century, male.

Active 1760-1800.

Painter, print artist. Portraits, genre scenes.

Choki was active in Edo (Tokyo) from 1773 to 1811. He was a pupil of Toriyama Sekien and illustrated his master’s books. His portraits, especially of women, are distinguished by the elegance of their drawing and their rich, harmonious colouring. An ukiyo-e artist, he could render a snowfall or a sultry, starlit night with equal lyricism: the influence of Sharaku and Haronubu, among others, can be discerned in his work. He is particularly famous for his portraits of beautiful women in bust form, a new genre in about ...

Article

Stephen Addiss

Japanese Zen monk, painter and calligrapher. Of later Japanese artists in the Zenga (‘Zen painting’; see Japan, §VI, 4, (vii)) tradition, he is perhaps the best-known in the Western world.

Born to a farming family, he became a monk at the age of ten at Seitaiji in Mino Province and at 19 began studies with the outstanding Zen teacher ...

Article

Stephen Addiss

Japanese Musician, painter, poet and calligrapher. Although he was more famous in his lifetime as a musician and little appreciated as an artist, Gyokudō has come to be considered one of Japan’s great painters in the literati painting tradition (Jap. Bunjinga or Nanga; see Japan, §VI, 4, (vi), (d)...

Article

Masato Naitō

Japanese printmaker and book illustrator. He initially studied painting with Kanō Yōsen (1735–1808), the head of the Kobikichō branch of the Kanō school and okaeshi (official painter) to the Tokugawa shogunate. Together with Teisai Hokuba (1771–1844), Hokkei was one of Katsushika Hokusai...

Article

Hokusai  

Japanese, 18th – 19th century, male.

Born September 1760, in Honjo Wari-Gesui, now Tokyo; died 1849.

Painter, print artist, illustrator, draughtsman. Figures, portraits, landscapes, seascapes.

While Hiroshige (1797-1858) is unanimously admired both in Japan and in the West, no Japanese artist has ever been so admired in the West and been regarded as so controversial in Japan as Hokusai. ‘The old man mad with painting’, to whom Edmond de Goncourt would pay so touching a tribute, left behind a corpus so monumental and so varied that wittingly or unwittingly no artist of his time would remain untouched by it, and his originality was so marked as to be intimidating, even offputting. Until he arrived, the Japanese print had concentrated on the female figure and portraits of actors, and had reached its peak at the end of the 18th century. With Hokusai, it found new life in a new field: landscape. ‘I was born at the age of 50,’ he would say, hinting at the long years when, rather like a pilgrim, he nurtured and refined his art until, as the 18th century drew to a close, it was ready to burst forth....

Article

Keisai  

Japanese, 18th – 19th century, male.

Born 1761 or 1764, in Edo (now Tokyo); died 1824, in Edo.

Master engraver, illustrator, painter.

Ukiyo-e (pictures of the floating world).

Keisai was the son of a maker of tatami (straw mats), who studied the style of Korin (...