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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

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

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

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

[Iwase Samuru; Rissai, Seisai, Santō Kyōden]

(b Edo [now Tokyo], 1761; d Edo, 1816).

Japanese print designer, book illustrator and writer. Together with Kitao Masayoshi (1764–1824) and Kubo Shunman, he was one of Kitao Shigemasa most brilliant students. He made his début in ukiyoe (‘pictures of the floating world’) in 1778 with his illustrations for the kibyōshi (‘yellow cover books’; comic novels) Kaichō ryaku no meguriai. During the next few years he produced illustrations for popular novels, in the manner of other artists in the Kitao studio. At the same time he began to design single-sheet prints, including yakushae (‘pictures of actors’). In the early 1780s Masanobu illustrated extravagant ehon (‘picture books’) and kyōka (‘crazy verse’) books and also produced nishikie (‘brocade pictures’; full-colour prints) series of bijinga (‘pictures of beautiful women’). In 1783 he published his most famous work, Seirō meikun jihitsushū (‘Collection of writings of the wise ruler of the greenhouses’; woodblock-print; London, BM, which consists of 14 tate ōban...

Article

Toru Asano

(b Tokyo, July 2, 1891; d Tokyo, June 3, 1955).

Japanese printmaker, poet and book designer. He studied at the Tokyo Art School from 1910 to 1915. Influenced by Yumeji Takehisa (1884–1934), a painter of highly popular sentimental portraits of women, and later by Edvard Munch and Vasily Kandinsky, he moved towards the expression of his inner feelings, which he termed lyricism. In 1914–15, with Shizuo Fujimori (1891–1943) and Kyōkichi Tanaka (1892–1915), he founded Tsukuhae (‘Moonglow’), a magazine of poetry and woodblock prints, in which he published abstract prints. One of these, Bright Time (1915; Tokyo, N. Mus. Mod. A.), is possibly the first purely abstract Japanese work. He also produced polychromatic figurative woodblock prints, such as Ripples (1939; priv. col., see Kubo, pl. 202) and The Author of Hyōtō (‘Ice isle’, 1943; Tokyo, N. Mus. Mod. A., see Kubo, pl. 224), a portrait of his close friend, the poet Sakutarō Hagiwara. Works such as the illustrated poetry collection ...

Article

Tadashi Kobayashi

[Kubota Yasubei; Shōsadō; Hitofushi no Chitsui; Shiokarabō; Nanda Kashiran, Kōzandō]

(b Edo [now Tokyo], 1757; d Edo, 1820).

Japanese print designer, painter, poet, writer and lacquer and shell-inlay artist. Orphaned at an early age, he was raised by an uncle. He studied honga (‘true or book pictures’) with the Nanga (literati painting) artist Tabete Ryōtai (1719–74) and ukiyoe (‘pictures of the floating world’) with Kitao Shigemasa. Early examples of Shunman’s work include the illustrations for the sharebon (‘witty book’; comic novel) Tama kiku tōrōben (1780) and the gafu (‘picture album’) Gakoku (1783) in the honga style. He was a prolific designer of bijinga (‘pictures of beautiful women’) and fūzokuga (‘pictures of customs and manners’), which show the influence, not of his teacher, Shigemasa, but of Torii Kiyonaga (see Torii family §(8)), one of the leading ukiyoe artists of the day. Shunman introduced the benigirai (‘red-hating’; using no red (pink) pigment) technique, which he employed in his Mutamagawa (‘Six crystal rivers’). In around ...

Article

Lu Xun  

Eugene Yuejin Wang

[Lu Hsün; Chou Shu-jen; Zhou Shuren]

(b Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province, Sept 25, 1881; d Shanghai, Oct 19, 1936).

Chinese woodcut-printmaker, writer and critic. Already in childhood his imagination was caught by popular fiction illustrations, which were to resurface in his later writing. His sojourn in Japan (1902–9) was a turning-point, convincing him that literature and art rather than medicine made a nation healthy. From 1912 to 1926 he was employed in the Ministry of Education in Beijing, supervising and coordinating art-related affairs. For the next year he taught at Xiamen University in Fujian Province; later he chaired the Department of Literature at Sun Yat-sen (Zhongshan) University, Guangzhou (Canton). The last ten years (1927–36) of Lu’s life in Shanghai were the most productive in terms of publication.

Lu was an anti-formalist. He believed that artists fulfil a Messianic role in expressing the collective soul. In Ni bobu meishu yijianshu (‘Views on the promulgation of fine arts’; 1913), one of the first modern Chinese art manifestos, Lu Xun boldly attempted a new definition of art, distinguishing it from relics and rarities and emphasizing its conceptual base (‘no art without thought’). The chief virtue he saw in Western art was the primacy of social urgency, and he ardently commended to a Chinese audience the works of such artists as Käthe Kollwitz and Carl Meffert (...