Page:A history of Japanese colour-prints by Woldemar von Seidlitz.djvu/169

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BEGINNING OF WOOD-ENGRAVING

69

school, belongs to the best painters of the popular style. He was probably a pupil of Tsunenobu, and painted about 1720.[1] But Choshun's pupil, Miyagawa Shunsui (Shinsui?) was a painter of especial importance, as influencing the further development of this style in the representation of graceful female figures, which reached its highest perfection in the second half of the century. Fenollosa, at least, thinks it very probable that he is one and the same with the Katsukawa Shunsui who was still at work in the second half of the century producing some not very important prints, and who made a name for himself chiefly as the teacher of the great Shunsho. In that case he must have changed his family name about the year 1750, and continued working until the year 1770, under Masanobu's influence. However this may be, he at any rate influenced Tsunemasa, who probably was originally the pupil of the above-mentioned Tsuneyuki, and whose significance lies in the fact that, as a painter, he prepared the way for the style of Harunobu and the others who depicted women during the second half of the century. Tsunemasa worked between 1730 and 1780; he seems to have perfected his peculiar style about 1750.[2] All the artists here named are remarkable only as painters.[3]

3. The First Torii: Masanobu.—The art of the first half of the eighteenth century is mainly dominated by the influence of the Torii school, founded by Kiyonobu I., which devoted itself especially to representations of actors (the theatre having at that time reached its most brilliant development), and which continued to exercise its influence beyond the conclusion of the

  1. Tokio Cat, p. 21.
  2. Ibid., p. 22.
  3. Fenollosa Cat., No. 7-13. Fenollosa also discusses Shunsui in further detail in his Outline (p. 31) and in the Tokio Cat. (p. 24 seqq.), and suggests that he may have been a son of Choshun. He founded a large school of painting side by side with the Torii, which was distinguished for its realism, its intensity of colouring, and its delicacy of conception; the landscape background also began to develop in course of time. One of his paintings is reproduced in the Outline, pl. vii. It was only after 1765 that he worked for the wood-engravers once or twice.