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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

Margo Machida

(b New York, Aug 16, 1949).

American printmaker and installation artist. Born and raised in New York City, Arai, a third-generation Japanese American printmaker, mixed-media artist, public artist and cultural activist, studied art at the Philadelphia College of Art and The Printmaking Workshop in New York. Since the 1970s, her diverse projects have ranged from individual works to large-scale public commissions (see Public art in the 21st century). She has designed permanent public works, including an interior mural commemorating the African burial ground in lower Manhattan and an outdoor mural for Philadelphia’s Chinatown. Other works include Wall of Respect for Women (1974), a mural on New York’s Lower East Side, which was a collaboration between Arai and women from the local community. Her art has been exhibited in such venues as the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, International Center for Photography, P.S.1 Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art, all New York and the Library of Congress, Washington, DC. She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, and Joan Mitchell Foundation....

Article

Tadashi Kobayashi

[ Mori ]

( fl Edo [now Tokyo], 1760–94; d c. 1794).

Japanese print designer and book illustrator . He may have been a pupil of the ukiyoe (‘pictures of the floating world’) artist Ishikawa Yukimoto. He is principally known for prints of the following types: hosōban (‘narrow format’, c. 320×150 mm); yakushae (‘pictures of actors’) and bijinga (‘pictures of beautiful women’). In its eclecticism, his style resembles that of his contemporaries, Katsukawa Shunshō ( see Katsukawa family, §1 ) and Suzuki Harunobu , who incorporated a lyricism with a naturalistic depiction of the subject. In 1770 Bunchō collaborated with Harunobu and Shunshō to produce Ehon butai ōgi (‘Picture book of stage fans’; untraced), which featured a new type of yakushae, yakusha nigaoe (‘pictures of likenesses of actors’) and challenged the traditional dominance of theatre illustration by the Torii family school. In Ehon butai ōgi, Bunchō depicted onnagata (kabuki actors playing female roles), while Shunshō illustrated kata keyaki (kabuki villains). Bunchō abandoned ...

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

Yasuyoshi Saito

[Sugita, Hideo]

(b Miyazaki Prefect., April 28, 1911; d Tokyo, March 10, 1960).

Japanese photographer, painter, printmaker and critic. In 1925 he entered the department of yōga (Western-style painting) at the Japanese School of Art in Tokyo. In 1926 he began writing art criticism and in 1927 he left the School, going on in 1930 to study at the School of Oriental Photography, Tokyo. In 1934 he returned to Miyazaki and studied Esperanto, going back two years later to Tokyo; thereafter he rejected his real name of Hideo Sugita in favour of his pseudonym, which was suggested by Saburō Hasegawa. His first exhibition, a one-man show of photograms (Tokyo, 1936), was based on drawings that used photographic paper. His collection of photograms, Nemuri no riyū, was also published in 1936. In 1937 he was a founder-member of the Jiyū Bijutsuka Kyōkai (Independent Art Society) and in Osaka, of the Demokurāto Bijutsuka Kyōkai (Democratic Art Society); from then on he produced etchings, also making lithographs from ...

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

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

Atsushi Tanaka

(b Kumamoto Prefect., Dec 23, 1917).

Japanese printmaker. He studied in the department of oil painting at the Tokyo Art School (now Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music) from 1934 to 1939, when he was conscripted into military service; in 1940 he was dispatched to China. Despite a brief military discharge, he was reconscripted but was sent home in 1945 because of his injuries. In 1949 he became a member of the Jiyū bijutsuka kyōkai (Independent Artists’ Association), and he continued to exhibit with them until leaving the group in 1959. He gained recognition with the series Elegy of the New Recruits, which he worked on from 1950. The series was based on the experiences that occurred to one soldier during his military service. Unable to erase the experiences both of military service that paralleled his own suffering and of the absolute obedience and absurdity of the miserable conditions that characterized the war, he expressed these sentiments in his work in monochromatic etchings. In ...

Article

Atsushi Tanaka

(b Wakayama Prefect., April 5, 1909; d Tokyo, Dec 25, 2000).

Japanese printmaker. He entered the department of sculpture at the Tokyo Art School (now Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music) in 1927, but left his studies in 1930 to go to France; he returned to Japan in 1939. In 1953 he settled in Paris. During this period he made copperplate prints and from about 1955 began producing his unique colour mezzotints, for example Paris (1956; Tokyo, N. Mus. Mod. A.), in which the roof-tops of the city’s skyline are treated as a virtually abstract rhythmic pattern. In 1957 he was awarded prizes at the São Paulo Biennale and the first International Biennial Print Exhibition in Tokyo. He moved from Paris to San Francisco in 1981. In 1985 he held his first solo exhibition in Japan at the National Museum of Art in Osaka; the show comprised over 160 prints.

In his works, which are largely colour mezzotints, Hamaguchi used an original technique characterized by areas of colour and light that seemed to appear from dark voids. He particularly favoured the depiction of fruits, vegetables or still-lifes as seen in the print ...

Article

Tadashi Kobayashi

[Suzuki Hozumi; Shikojin, Chōeiken]

(b ?Edo [now Tokyo], ?1725; d Edo, 1770).

Japanese printmaker, book illustrator and painter. A central figure in the development of ukiyoe (‘pictures of the floating world’) woodblock printmaking during the mid-Edo (1600–1868) period (see Japan §X 3., (iii)), Harunobu’s most important contribution was the introduction of the first full-colour printing technique to Japan. Stylistically, the new image of feminine beauty that Harunobu created in his bijinga (‘pictures of beautiful women’) single-sheet prints influenced a generation of ukiyoe artists. Like many Edo period ukiyoe masters, Harunobu left few clues to his identity. He was probably born into the chōnin (merchant and artisan) class. An entry referring to Harunobu’s death in the Nishikawaka kakochō (‘Death registry of the Nishikawa family’) indicates that he had a close association with the family of the Kyoto ukiyoe artist Nishikawa Sukenobu. His treatment of trees, shrubs and rocks in his bird-and-flower (kachō) painting on folding screens (...

Article

Toru Asano

(b Yokohama, Dec 9, 1891; d Paris, Dec 13, 1980).

Japanese printmaker and painter. He studied Western-style drawing under Seiki Kuroda at the Aoibashi Institute of the Hakuba-kai and Western-style oil painting under Saburōsuke Okada and Takeji Fujishima at the Hongō Institute. At the same time he became acquainted with examples of modern Western art, which was then being widely introduced into Japan; he was attracted to the work of William Blake and to Symbolist painters such as Edvard Munch and Odilon Redon. In 1913, while producing the cover picture for the magazine Kamen (‘Mask’; 1913), Hasegawa taught himself woodblock printing. Shortly after this, he began to study etching and in 1916 helped found the Japanese Print Club. He played a leading part in the creative print movement in Japan, where the artist both cut the block and printed the work.

In 1919 Hasegawa went to France with the aim of making a further study of painting and printmaking and encountered a variety of techniques including drypoint and engraving. He was attracted by the neglected technique of mezzotint, which he revived with certain new methods of his own, producing works with beautiful gradations from black to white. His early Expressionist style, as seen in ...

Article

Masato Naitō

[Utagawa Hiroshige; Ichiryūsai; Ichiyūsai; Ryūsai]

(b Edo [now Tokyo], 1797; d Edo, 1858).

Japanese painter and printmaker. He was one of the greatest and most prolific masters of the full-colour landscape print and one of the last great ukiyoe (‘pictures of the floating world’) print designers (see Japan, §X, 3, (iii)). A master of colour and composition, Hiroshige won popularity and lasting fame for his sensitive and atmospheric designs.

Hiroshige was the eldest son of a samurai, a minor official associated with the shogunal fire department. As a child Hiroshige showed skill in drawing and seems to have aspired to become an artist. He was first apprenticed to Ōkajima Rinsai, a minor member of the Kanō school, from whom he learnt the elements of brushwork and composition. His brushwork became freer and more spontaneous when he studied under Ōoka Unpō (1765–1848), a painter in the Chinese style, who also taught him the importance of atmosphere. Independently, Hiroshige experimented with the naturalistic and Western-influenced styles of the Nagasaki and Shijō schools (...

Article

Richard L. Wilson

[Sakai Tadanao; Ukean]

(b Edo [now Tokyo], 1761; d Edo, 1828).

Japanese painter, printmaker and antiquarian. He was the second son of Sakai Tadamochi (1735–67), lord of Harima, and the main instigator of the revival of interest in the early 19th century in the Rinpa school of decorative painting (see Japan, §VI, 4, (v)). Hōitsu created a distinctive Edo style of Rinpa out of the tradition created by Ogata Kōrin (see Ogata family, §1) in the early 18th century by adding new subject-matter and changing the handling of detail, which became more profuse, sharper and less artificial. This new sense of naturalism was characteristic of the arts of the latter part of the Edo period (1600–1868), as was the pleasure Hōitsu took in witty contrivances. Two early paintings, Matsukaze and Murasame (1785) and Beauty Hunting Fireflies (1788; both priv. col., see Yamane, nos 77–8), reflect the style of Utagawa Toyoharu (...

Article

Masato Naitō

[Iwakubo Kinemon; Kikō; Kyōsai]

(b Edo [now Tokyo], 1780; d Edo, 1850).

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 Hokusais best students (see Japan §X 3., (iii), (d)). He made his artistic debut in ukiyoe (‘pictures of the floating world’) circles c. 1800, producing illustrations for sharebon (comic novels, usually licentious), hanashibon (story books) and kyōkabon (books of ‘crazy verse’). His main period of activity, however, was in the 1820s and 30s. He continued to illustrate kyōka books, but his most outstanding works are kyōka surimono (‘printed objects’; deluxe prints). His representative piece from this period is his illustrated edition of Rokujuen’s [Ishikawa Masamochi] (1753–1830) kokkeibon (humorous tales of urban life), Hokuri jūniji (‘The twelve hours of the northern village’, a euphemism for the Yoshiwara pleasure quarter). Hokkei produced few ...

Article

Masato Naitō

[Shunrō; Sōri; Kakō; Tatsumasa; Gakyōjin; Taito; Iichi; Manji]

(b Edo [now Tokyo], 1760; d Edo, 1849).

Japanese painter, draughtsman and printmaker. His work not only epitomized ukiyoe (‘pictures of the floating world’) painting and printmaking (see Japan, §VI, 4, (iv), (b)) but represented the essence of artistic endeavour and achievement over a period of 70 years of single-minded creativity. He was a voracious student of a huge range of artistic techniques, ranging from painting of Ming period (1368–1644) China to the styles of the Kanō school, Sumiyoshi school, Rinpa painting (see Japan, §VI, 4, (v)) and his contemporaries of Edo period (1600–1868) Japan, to Western-style painting (Yōga; see Japan, §VI, 5, (iv)). His work also covered a spectrum of art forms: nikuhitsuga (polychrome or ink paintings); surimono (‘printed things’; de luxe, small-edition woodblock prints) and nishikie (polychrome prints); woodblocks for eirihon (illustrated books) and kyōka ehon (illustrated books of poems called kyōka); and printed book illustrations for ...

Article

Anne Burkus-Chasson

[Ch’en Hung-shou; zi Zhanghou; hao Lianzi, Laolian, after 1646 Huichi, Huiseng, Laochi]

(b Zhuji, Zhejiang Province, 1598 or 1599; d ?Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province, 1652).

Chinese painter, calligrapher, and designer of woodblock-prints. Chen’s innovative renditions of the human figure, in particular of gentlemen and women at leisure, were celebrated during his lifetime for their unusual, startling effect (see also China, People’s Republic of §V 3., (vii), (d)). Distorted features and exaggerated draperies, each precisely delineated and often artfully modeled with color, exemplify Chen’s interest in juxtaposing incongruent pictorial styles and genres. Yet the oddity of Chen’s mature work is variously interpreted. Some scholars point to the derivation of his style from forged, archaistic paintings, which flooded the art market during the 17th century; others, stressing the intersection between his painting and contemporary printed illustration, present Chen instead as an artist engaged in the media revolution of his time, who reinvented narrative and figural painting in the context of 17th-century habits of seeing. Besides human figures, Chen also painted bird-and-flower subjects and, to a lesser extent, landscapes. His contemporaries further acknowledged his skills as a poet and calligrapher....

Article

Li Hua  

Zhong Hong

(b Panyu, Guangdong Province, 1907; d Beijing, 1994).

Chinese painter and wood-engraver. From the 1930s to 1980s he was a dominant figure in the Woodcut Movement in China. Li first studied oil painting at the Canton City Art School from 1924 to 1927. In 1930 he went to Japan to study, only to return to Canton the following year after the 9.18 incident when the Japanese army overran the northern part of China. At his old school he taught in the Department of Western Painting. In 1934 he began to teach himself woodcutting techniques, held his first solo exhibition of woodcuts in 1934, and subsequently chose this as the main medium for his artistic expression.

The Modern Woodcut Movement in China introduced Socialist Realism styles from Germany and Russia. In 1932 Li founded the Xiandai muke hui (Modern Woodcut Society) in Canton, which became one of the most powerful centres for the dissemination of the new art. His art was strongly influenced spiritually by Lu Xun, writer and leader of the woodcut movement, and technically by Uchiyama Kakechi, a Japanese artist who taught him woodcut skills at a workshop in Shanghai in ...

Article

Yasuyoshi Saito

(b Manshū, Manchuria, Feb 23, 1934; d Mar 8, 1997).

Japanese printmaker and painter. From 1952 to 1953 he studied at the National Painting Association Fine Arts Research Institute. In 1955 he met the painter Kyū Ei, and in 1956 he became a member of Ei’s Demokurāto Bijutsuka Kyōkai (Democratic Art Society), a group of avant-garde artists. Although at that time he was creating paintings such as Ruined Town (1955; Tokyo, Met. A. Mus.), in 1956 he began on Ei’s recommendation to produce copperplate etchings. He won prizes at the second, third and fourth Tokyo International Print Biennales, including ones for the drypoints Wedding Ceremony of Animals (1962; Tokyo, Met. A. Mus.) and Woman Applying Make-up (1964; Tokyo, N. Mus. Mod. A.). In 1961 he received the Award of Excellence at the Deuxième biennale de Paris, an exhibition of young artists. In 1965 a one-man exhibition of Ikeda’s prints was held at MOMA in New York, and a year later he received the Grand Prize in the print section of the Venice Biennale. In ...

Article

(b Paris, Jan 23, 1902; d Tokyo, March 1960).

French draughtsman, printmaker and painter. Shortly after his birth his father accepted a teaching post in Japan, and the family moved there in 1906. A delicate only child, Jacoulet integrated with difficulty in the energetic military academy at Yokohama. Yet he became an accomplished linguist and musician and pursued his interest in nature with drawings of insects, butterflies and seashells. During World War I he worked as an interpreter at the French embassy in Tokyo but in his spare time explored the world of drama and bunraku puppetry. The popular and derivative ukiyoe style of his first prints was soon abandoned, as Jacoulet found his individual path in designs of exotic and romantic subjects, influenced by his admiration, on visits to Paris, of the work of Gauguin, Matisse and Egon Schiele. Voyages through the islands of Saipan and Truk in 1929 inspired his first attempt at a series of related prints, ...

Article

Joan H. O’Mara

[Shunkyō; Tobeian]

(b Kyoto, 1716; d Kyoto, 1800).

Japanese painter and printmaker.

Jakuchū was born into a family of well-to-do merchants who owned a wholesale greengrocery business in the Nishiki district of Kyoto. As the eldest son, he was expected to succeed his father but contemporary accounts reveal that painting was the young Jakuchū’s only real interest, and that his reclusive temperament made him ill-suited for business. The early death of Jakuchū’s father, however, forced him to assume the headship of the family and business at the age of 23.

Jakuchū probably began his formal artistic training during his twenties, perhaps with Ōoka Shunboku (1680–1763) or an unidentified painter of the academic Kanō family school. Jakuchū was also influenced by Chinese court painting (see China, People’s Republic of §V 4., (i), (c)), many examples of which could be seen in Kyoto’s Zen monasteries, and by the decorative style associated with Ogata Kōrin (see...