Page:A history of Japanese colour-prints by Woldemar von Seidlitz.djvu/165

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BEGINNING OF WOOD-ENGRAVING

67

Katsumasa (1718); the last mentioned is the author of Taisei Shucho, representations of animals and plants, 112 sheets, 3 volumes (Gillot Catalogue).

(Kwai­) (getsu­) (do)The greatest of his fellow-workers, however, was Kwaigetsudo, whose chief activity synchronises with the first decade of the eighteenth century.[1] Although he does not equal Moronobu in creative power and fertility, and although, in contrast with the somewhat squat but well-proportioned figures of Moronobu, he yielded to a certain mannerism in drawing his heads, hands, and feet habitually too small, yet he understood how to impart to the female types that figure on his large, tall prints, clad in full, richly-patterned garments, a dignity of carriage, a flow of contour and of undulating drapery, which set them among the finest and most forceful specimens of their kind, while from the large black and white patterns of the dresses these pictures derive an incomparable decorative effect. Like Moronobu, Kwaigetsudo was also a painter. The Hayashi Catalogue gives Kwaigetsudo the cognomen Yasutomo, and adds that he was trained in the Tosa school and was the first Kwaigetsudo who produced wood-engravings (see illustration ibid.). In the Tokio Catalogue (p. 18 seqq.) the artist receives a detailed and judicious appreciation. He is brought into connection with Choshun (see infra) as the most brilliant member of his circle and the only one who worked at wood-engraving. He was principally active about 1707-14, and already shows the influence of Masanobu (see infra) and the first Torii. Although, says the Catalogue, his compositions were somewhat monotonous, he occupies an unapproached position among all these popular artists because of his excellent distribution of black patterns. Norishige, whose name accompanies that of Kwaigetsudo in the illustration here reproduced, seems to have been a pupil of his. About 1700 there worked also
  1. Fenollosa Cat., No. 15 ff.