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Bijin by Keisai Eisen

Bijin by Keisai Eisen

Regular price $850.00 USD
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Age: ca 1820
Media: Woodblock Print
Size: print 14-1/4" x 9-7/8"
Condition: Very good
Provenance: The John Dooling Collection

Keisai Eisen (1790-1848)

Also known as Ikeda, Keisai, Yoshinobu.
Eisen was born in Edo into the Ikeda family, the son of a Kanô-school painter. He studied with Kanô Hakkeisai, from whom he took the name Keisai, and later with Kikugawa Eizan. Eisen was one of several writers and artists who edited and expanded upon the 'Ukiyo-e ruiko' ("History of Prints of the Floating World"), the most informative 18th-19th century source of information on the lives of ukiyo-e artists. Eisen's version (circa 1833) was called the 'Zoku ukiyo-e ruikô' ("Supplement to the History of Prints of the Floating World"), known also as the 'Mumeiô zuihitsu' (Essays by a Nameless Old Man). He described himself as a hard-drinking, rather dissolute artist. Eisen designed a number of excellent 'surimono' (privately issued prints) and erotic prints, as well as some fine landscapes. Among the latter, his contributions to the series "Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaidô Road" ('Kisokaidô rokûjûkyû tsugi') in the 1830s is most often encountered (Eisen began the series, which was completed by Utagawa Hiroshige). Nevertheless, he is best known for his portrayals of women. By the 1820s Eisen had established himself as an important designer of 'bijinga' ("pictures of beautiful women"). These portraits of beauties and courtesans are much admired for their pronounced elements of realism and sensuality. Throughout this period he also produced large numbers of full-length portraits, many involving women of the Yoshiwara.
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