Page:A history of Japanese colour-prints by Woldemar von Seidlitz.djvu/170

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JAPANESE COLOUR-PRINTS

eighteenth century. Formerly the opinion was that this time could be identified with that of the first appearance of the two-colour print, which had been fixed at about the year 1710; but since Fenollosa has established the fact that the production of these earliest coloured prints cannot well be assumed as prior to 1743, in which year the first dated and presumably the earliest print of this kind was published, we must take it that the whole previous period was entirely devoted to black and white. On the other hand, the painting of these sheets, which began to be done with artistic care quite early, at all events about the year 1710, deserves especial mention, as it developed the peculiar colour-scheme on which the true polychrome prints were afterwards modelled.[1]

(Tori­) () (Kiyo­) (nobu)Torii Kiyonobu I., according to his real name Shobei, was born in 1664 and lived until 1729.[2] From Kioto where he lived at first, he proceeded to Yedo where a more stimulating atmosphere was to be found, and gave himself up chiefly to the depicting of actors, and also to the preparation of theatrical programmes and posters. Whereas hitherto these subjects had only been occasionally treated, he elevated them to the rank of a permanent department of wood-engraving, which continued to be cultivated almost as a matter of privilege by the Torii school that he founded. His drawing was broad, bold, and decided, and calculated to produce its effect from a distance, as in broad-
  1. In my first edition I had assumed a parallel activity of, and a continuous rivalry between, Kiyonobu and Masanobu. Since then, however, it has been shown that we must assume the existence of two artists named Kiyonobu, the second appreciably younger than the first; and my former description has had accordingly to be completely recast, for although Masanobu began work at more or less the same period as Kiyonobu I., yet it was not until the latter half of his life that he became a determining influence in his art and entered into the competition as described with the second Kiyonobu.
  2. In the first edition his dates had been given as 1688-about 1756, on the authority of Anderson, Japanese Wood-Engraving, p. 23; Fenollosa Cat., Nos. 20-23, 29, 35, 61, 87; Strange, p. 21. The new dates are founded on the Hayashi Cat., No. 190 seqq.