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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

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

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

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

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

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...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(fl 1732–67).

American portrait painter, japanner and engraver, active in Boston. His workshop on Ann Street advertised ‘Japaning, Gilding, Painting, Varnishing’; he also engraved maps, music and clock faces. A tall clock (c. 1749–56; Winterthur, DE, Du Pont Winterthur Mus.) japanned by Johnston is one of the finest surviving examples of japanned work in colonial America....

Article

Richard Lane and Tadashi Kobayashi

Name used by members of a school of Japanese painters and print designers, which flourished in Edo (now Tokyo) during the first half of the 18th century. They specialized in paintings and prints of courtesans of the Yoshiwara pleasure quarter, depicted in monumental, standing poses and dressed in luxurious kimonos. The founder of the school was (1) Kaigetsudō Ando, who was strongly influenced by Hishikawa Moronobu and Sugimura Jihei (fl c. 1681–1703). They worked in the ukiyoe (‘pictures of the floating world’) genre (see Japan §VI 4., (iv), (b)). Kaigetsudō Ando’s direct pupils included (2) Kaigetsudō Anchi, Doshin (fl 1710s), (3) Kaigetsudō Dohan, and Doshu and Doshū (both fl 1710s). Their own pupils and followers continued the Kaigetsudō tradition into the mid-18th century, influencing such well-known ukiyoe artists as Miyagawa Chōshun, Shunsui (fl 1740s–1760s) and Shunshō and Katsushika Hokusai. Overall, the output of the school shows a remarkable uniformity of technique and subject-matter....

Article

Susumu Matsudaira and Tadashi Kobayashi

Name used by members of a school of Japanese woodblock print designers active during the mid-Edo period (1600–1868). They worked in the ukiyoe (‘pictures of the floating world’) genre (see Japan §X 2., (iii)) and specialized in yakushae (‘pictures of actors’; prints of scenes and characters from kabuki and ). The main force behind the school was painter and print designer (1) Katsukawa Shunshō, who introduced yakusha nigaoe (‘pictures of likenesses of actors’) prints in the 1770s. The Katsukawa school dominated yakushae until the 1790s, but by the beginning of the 19th century it was showing signs of decline, overwhelmed by competition from the newly emerging Utagawa family school. Shunshō’s most gifted students were (2) Katsukawa Shunkō, (3) Katsukawa Shun’ei, (4) Katsukawa Shunchō, and Shunrō, who later became famous as Katsushika Hokusai, after his expulsion from the school. Shun’ei had many students, among whom (5) Katsukawa ...

Article

Frank L. Chance

[Shiba Shun; Harushige, Kōkan, Rantei, Suzuki Harushige]

(b Edo [now Tokyo], 1747; d Edo, 1818).

Japanese painter and printmaker. He was the first Japanese artist to create European-style copperplate etchings. His father was probably a swordsmith. As a boy he received some training from a Kanō-school painter and was apprenticed c. 1764–5 to the ukiyoe (‘pictures of the floating world’) printmaker Suzuki Harunobu. Kōkan produced paintings and woodblock prints in Harunobu’s style, signing them ‘Harushige’. Some of his late prints (c. 1770–74) bear the more saleable signature ‘Harunobu’.

Kōkan studied a stiff Chinese manner of bird-and-flower painting under Sō Shiseki (see Japan §VI 4., (vi), (c)). The etched illustrations of the Groot schilderboek (compiled by Gérard de Lairesse; 2 vols, Amsterdam, 1707; see Hosono/Craighill, 1978, p. 61) inspired Kōkan to study European art as well. Kōkan began experimenting with copperplate etchings, basing his methods on descriptions in Dutch texts. His first successful copperplate etching depicted the banks of the River Sumida at Mimeguri in Edo (...

Article

Brenda G. Jordan

[Haruhiro]

(fl 1765–80s).

Japanese painter and woodblock-print designer. He was active during the Edo period (1600–1868) and is said to have been born into the samurai class. His use of the art name () Haruhiro around 1766–7 has led some scholars to conjecture that he was a pupil of Suzuki Harunobu, but there is no decisive evidence for this. Koryūsai principally created ukiyoe (‘pictures of the floating world’; see Japan, §VI, 4, (iii), (b)), which frequently depicted scenes from the pleasure quarters of the large cities. He was important in Edo (now Tokyo) for his contribution to the development, started by Harunobu, of nishikie (‘brocade prints’; polychrome prints resembling cloth woven in colours). He is known for depictions of beautiful women (bijinga), for example the First Designs of the Young Leaves, in Pattern Form series (Hinagata wakana no hatsu moyō; woodblock prints; c. late 1770s; e.g. New York, Met.), in which young courtesans (the ‘young leaves’ of the title) are shown wearing the latest fashions (...

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

Juliann Wolfgram

[Baiō]

(b 1686; d 1764).

Japanese print designer, painter, book illustrator and publisher. Although Masanobu’s artistic career spanned six decades, Edo-period (1600–1868) documents reveal little about his life. However, his prolific artistic output and technical innovations make him one of the leading figures of the early history of Japanese woodblock printing and ukiyoe (‘pictures of the floating world’, see Japan §X 2., (iii)). He began his career in 1701 with a copy of an album of courtesans known as Keisei ehon (‘Yoshiwara picture book’; Chicago, IL, A. Inst.) by Torii Kiyonobu I (see Torii family, §1). His earliest sumizurie (‘black-and-white pictures’) were based on the subject-matter and style of the Torii school and were published in sets of 12 large prints (ōban) or in illustrated books (ehon). Masanobu illustrated no less than 19 novelettes and produced over 30 ehon (see Japan §X 2.). During the formative stage of his career, Masanobu also wrote popular fiction, which led him to develop a pictorial means of conveying literary wit and humour. Through the production of visual parodies of classical themes, known as ...

Article

Susumu Matsudaira

(fl Edo [now Tokyo], 1794–5).

Japanese woodblock-print designer. He remains one of the most enigmatic figures in the history of ukiyoe (‘pictures of the floating world’) woodblock prints (see Japan, §X, 3, (iii)). Sharaku was active for just under one year, from May 1794 to January 1795, during which time he is said to have produced 146 prints, of which 136 are yakushae (‘pictures of actors’), two are mushae (‘pictures of warriors’), six are sumoe (‘pictures of sumo’), one depicts Ebisu, one of the seven Gods of Good Fortune (Sohichifukujin), and one is a stencilled image (kappazuri) of the folk goddess Otafuku (or Okame). All of these except Otafuku are nishikie (‘brocade pictures’; full-colour prints) published by the Edo publisher Tsutaya Jūzaburō (1750–99). Several brush paintings have been tentatively attributed to Sharaku, including preliminary studies for his yakushae and sumoe.

Several conflicting theories have been put forward concerning Sharaku’s identity. The first was proposed by Ōta Nanpo (...

Article

Masato Naitō

[Kitabatake Kanetomo; Karan, Kōsuisai]

(b Edo [now Tokyo], 1739; d Edo, 1820).

Japanese print designer and book illustrator. He was unusual among ukiyoe (‘pictures of the floating world’) artists because he was self-taught. His family ran a bookshop, and the young Shigemasa probably learnt his skills from studying illustrations in books sold in the family shop. His first works gained recognition during the late 1750s. Extant early works are benizurie (‘pink-printed pictures’; two-colour prints) and yakushae (‘pictures of actors’), but his principal output is in book illustration, which he practised throughout his career and which became the speciality of the Kitao school (see Japan §X 2., (iii)), of which he was the founder.

In 1765 ukiyoe printing was revolutionized by the introduction of nishikie (‘brocade pictures’; full-colour prints) by Suzuki Harunobu and his contemporaries. Shigemasa also produced nishikie, and until the mid-1770s his style showed the influence of the yakushae of Torii Kiyomasa (see Torii family, §2) and the ...

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

Susumu Matsudaira

[Uemon; Jitokusō, Jitokusai, Bunkado, Ukyō, Saiō]

(b Kyoto, 1671; d Kyoto, 1750).

Japanese woodblock print designer, book illustrator and painter. Unlike most ukiyoe (‘pictures of the floating world’) artists, who were based in Edo (now Tokyo), Sukenobu lived in the imperial capital Kyoto. He studied painting with Kanō Einō (1631–97), and possibly with Tosa Mitsusuke (see Tosa family §(1)). He first produced book illustrations for the celebrated Kyoto publisher Hachimonjiya Jishō (d 1745) in 1699. The earliest works attributed to Sukenobu are Yakusha kuchijamisen (‘Actor humming shamisen tune’; 3 vols; Tokyo, Waseda U.), a Yakusha hyōbanki (‘Record of the reputation of actors’; a discussion of actors’ performances and appearance) and the script for a kabuki play, Amidagaike Shin Teramachi (‘Amida pond in Shin Teramachi’). His earliest signed work is Shin kanninki (‘New patience story’; 7 vols; Tokyo, N. Diet Lib.), an ukiyo zōshi (‘tales of the floating world’; popular fiction). In the 1710s Sukenobu continued his close association with ...