Mattia Jona, Master Drawings and Prints, Japanese Prints - Piazzetta Guastalla 5, 20122 Milan, Italy, tel (+39) 02 8053315

Keisai Eisen, sunset glow at Ryogoku bridge


Colour woodblock print, 1843-45, from the series Eight Views of Edo (Edo hakkei). Signed Keisai Eisen ga. Mark of the publisher Yamamotoya Heikichi (Eikyûdô), seal of the censor Watari. Very good impression and colour; minor faults at margins, in very good condition. Oban yoko-e, 256 x 372 mm.
A fine example of Eisen's skills as designer of landscapes; see other impressions at
the British Museum, London (1941,0208,0.6)
the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (11.25663)
the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2005.329)

Eisen was son of a samurai, Ikeda Masahei Shigeharu, a talented calligrapher. After his parents died he was forced to become a ronin to support his younger sisters. At one time a Kabuki playwright using the name Chiyoda Saishi, and about this time lodged with the family of Kikukawa Eizan and studied painting with Eizan's father, Eiji. In later years a prolific author of popular literature and, in 1833, he compiled a manuscript which was a reworking of the biographies of Ukiyo-e artists. He studied also with the minor Kano painter Hakkeisai and with Kikukawa Eizan. From the late Bunka era (1804-18) onwards he designed many illustrations for the various genres of popular literature as well as surimono and produced a large output of single-sheet prints of women, including some fine bust portraits. He was also author off many shunga and contributed twenty-four designs in a Kano-influenced style to the landscape series Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaido (late 1830s) designed with Hiroshige.



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