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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

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

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 ...