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Article

Patrick Conner

(b Maidstone, Kent, April 10, 1767; d Maidstone, July 23, 1816).

English painter, engraver, draughtsman and museum official. The son of a coachbuilder, he was apprenticed to Julius Caesar Ibbetson before enrolling in 1784 at the Royal Academy Schools, London. In 1792 he accepted the post (previously declined by Ibbetson) of draughtsman to George, 1st Earl Macartney, on his embassy to China. As the embassy returned by inland waterway from Beijing to Canton, Alexander made detailed sketches of the Chinese hinterland—something achieved by no British artist previously and by very few subsequently. These sketches formed the basis for finished watercolours (e.g. Ping-tze Muen, the Western Gate of Peking, 1799; London, BM) and for numerous engravings by both himself and others. For over fifty years his images of China were widely borrowed by book illustrators and by interior decorators in search of exotic themes.

Alexander was also a keen student of British medieval antiquities, undertaking several tours in order to make drawings of churches and monuments; many of these were reproduced in the antiquarian publications of ...

Article

Japanese, 18th–19th century, male.

Born 1748, in Sukagawa; died 1822.

Painter, engraver (etching). Landscapes.

Yoga School.

Denzen Aodo belonged to the Yoga School, but studied Nanga painting under Gessen. He later became interested in Western painting. Aodo was a landscape painter who served Lord Matsudaira....

Article

Buzen  

Japanese, 18th – 19th century, male.

Active in Osaka.

Born 1735 or 1737; died 1810 or 1812.

Painter, print artist.

Article

Japanese, 19th century, male.

Active in the Osaka region before 1820.

Print artist.

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

Brenda G. Jordan

(fl c. 1780–early 1800s).

Japanese painter and woodblock-print designer. He is thought to have studied under Toriyama Sekien (1712–88), the teacher of Kitagawa Utamaro. Chōki specialized in compositions of beautiful women (bijinga), sometimes with little or no background but more often with atmospheric backgrounds in which there is a limited sense of depth. He was influenced by Utamaro, Torii Kiyonaga (see Torii family §(8)) and Tōshūsai Sharaku, but developed his own style of tall, slender figure. He left a number of superbly printed designs. Chōki was particularly skilful at depicting half-length figures; many of his best designs are compositions of two such half-length figures. Examples include the colour woodblock-print Girl with an Umbrella and a Servant (c. mid-1790s; e.g. Tokyo, N. Mus.), with a background of falling snow and, in the foreground, a girl holding an umbrella and leaning on the back of her manservant as he bends to (presumably) clear the snow from her sandal. In ...

Article

Eiri  

Japanese, 18th – 19th century, male.

Activec.1795-1800.

Painter, print artist.

Chokyosai Eiri is not to be confused with Rekisentei Eiri, as established by Lane. He was a pupil of Hosoda Eishi. Only a few works by this artist are known to us: some very fine okubi-e (large-scale portraits) of beautiful women ( ...

Article

Japanese, 19th century, male.

Print artist. Scenes with figures, urban landscapes.

New York, 27 March 1991: View of the Construction of Electric Lighting in a Ginza Street in Tokyo (1883, Chuban print, triptych, 10 × 6½ ins/25.6 × 16.4 cm) USD 2,420

Article

Eisen  

Japanese, 19th century, male.

Born 1790; died 1848.

Print artist.

Eisen began by studying the Kano and Tosa styles before becoming a pupil of Eizan. He specialised in depictions of beautiful women. Between 1837 and 1842 he also assisted Hiroshige (1797-1858) with his series ...

Article

Brenda G. Jordan

[Keisai]

(b Edo [now Tokyo], 1790; d 1848).

Japanese painter and woodblock-print designer. Having first studied under Kanō Hakkeisei (Jikeisai), he became acquainted c. 1810 with the Kanō-style painter Kikukawa Eiji and his son Kikukawa Eizan (1787–1867), a ukiyoe (‘pictures of the floating world’) artist, at that time producing pictures of beautiful women (bijinga) in the style of Kitagawa Utamaro. Eisen’s early works in this genre show Eizan’s influence. Eisen subsequently specialized in bijinga and shunga (‘spring paintings’, erotic pictures). Eisen’s style depicting women, which began to appear around 1821, is characterized by straight lines varying in thickness, sharp angular lines and fine details. Distinctive facial features such as long, slanting eyes, contracted eyebrows and half-open lips touched with green contribute to a strong-minded and vivacious female image. Examples include a series of half-length portraits (ōkubi-e) from the early 1820s entitled Contest of Contemporary Beauties (Ukiyo fūzoku mime kurabe). Eisen later returned to full-length figures. Works of the later 1820s also employed Western-style techniques, such as the use of fine parallel lines for shading. In this period, Eisen began to design landscapes and courtesan prints using shades of blue, known as the ...

Article

Eishi  

Japanese, 18th – 19th century, male.

Born 1756, in Edo (now Tokyo); died 1829, in 1815 according to some sources.

Painter, print artist.

Eishi was a samurai descended from a military family, and a member of the personal entourage of the shogun. He gave up all his official duties to devote himself to his art. He was probably a disciple of Utamaro (...

Article

Brenda G. Jordan

[Chōbunsai]

(b [now Tokyo], 1756; d 1829).

Japanese painter and woodblock-print designer. He was of samurai rank but abandoned his position to devote himself to painting and print design. Having first studied painting under Kanō Eisen’in Michinobu (1730–90), he began producing ukiyoe (‘pictures of the floating world’; see Japan, §VI, 4, (iv), (b)). Early works include a series of colour prints of literary classics such as the 11th-century Tale of Genji. Eishi then began to produce courtesan images influenced by Torii Kiyonaga (seeTorii family, §8) and then pictures of solitary seated women. In the print Kasen of the Ōgiya, from Six Select Beauties of the Gay Quarters (Seirō bijin rokkasen), Kasen is shown holding her brush over an inkstone, about to paint a fan, which she holds in her other hand. Full-bodied figures of women, depicted in activities such as letter-writing or reading, and with a few suggestions of their belongings, became part of his treatment of the theme. Later Eishi depicted standing female figures against subdued, single-colour backgrounds. Finally, Eishi elongated his women until their heads were only one-twelfth the height of the rest of the figure. The woodblock-print triptych of ...

Article

Eisui  

Japanese, 19th century, male.

Born c. 1790; died 1823.

Print artist.

Eisui was a pupil of Hosoda Eishi. He designed prints of the heads of courtesans which hint at the influence of Utamaro (1753-1806), although the stylisation makes it difficult to say that he was a portrait artist. These particular prints are nonetheless subjective and poetic....

Article

Gakutei  

Japanese, 19th century, male.

Activec.1815-1830.

Born c. 1786; died 1868.

Painter, print artist. Landscapes, animals.

Gakutei was an Edo painter who lived in Osaka from the late 1820s to the mid-1830s, designing landscapes, numerous actor prints and some surimono (de-luxe prints produced as greetings cards, New Year’s greetings, and the like, in very small print runs), all of which were printed in Osaka. He took his inspiration from Hokusai....

Article

Japanese, 19th century, male.

Active 1816-1847.

Painter, print artist.

Melbourne: collection of prints

Article

Japanese, 18th – 19th century, male.

Born 1776; died c. 1831.

Painter, print artist.

Goshichi was a writer from Edo (now Tokyo) who lived in Kyoto and who was known as an print artist just before 1820. He is known for a number of erotic prints and actors’ portraits....

Article

Japanese, 19th century, male.

Activec.1820-1830.

Born 1803; died 1839.

Print artist.

Sahei Gusokuya was a disciple of Toyokuni II. He seems to have worked mostly in Edo (now Tokyo), with the seal name of Arashi.

Article

Japanese, 19th century, male.

Active until 1812.

Died after 1812.

Engraver.

Gyokusan was an engraver from Osaka who settled in Edo (now Tokyo) in 1810. Some portraits of actors by him survive.

Article

Japanese, 19th century, male.

Activec.mid-1830s.

Born 1794; died 1852.

Painter, engraver. Portraits.

Gyokusen is known only from his Portrait of an Actor at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

London (Victoria and Albert Mus.): Portrait of an Actor

Article

Gyokuso  

Japanese, 19th century, male.

Activec.1830.

Painter, engraver, illustrator.

Gyokuso was an illustrator from Osaka.