Page:A history of Japanese colour-prints by Woldemar von Seidlitz.djvu/202

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JAPANESE COLOUR-PRINTS

employed up to that time for hand colouring afford us no explanation, as they were quite different in kind and far more various. It is also a surprising circumstance that through nearly two subsequent decades these two colours were employed virtually unchanged, even in tone and strength, by all the other artists of the period, and that it was not until a third colour-block was introduced (about 1760) that these sheets presented a greater variety of aspect.

Fenollosa (Tokio Catalogue, 1898, p. 43) says that two-colour printing was, up to the beginning of the fifties, only employed for small prints. He estimates the total number of two-colour prints at about 10,000. On page 5 of the same work he gives an admirable characterisation of the two-colour print. Professor Jaekel in Greifswald writes to me: "The first red and green prints seem to me to be those in which these two colours are only printed in the form of delicate patterns on the spaces of the dresses and the salient parts of the background. These pattern-blocks were probably technically most nearly akin to the stencil plates which had been in use from ancient times for pattern printing on cloth and continued to be used long after. The tinting of the dresses to their whole extent only came in later."

西 (Nishi­) (mura ) (Shige­) (naga)Nishimura Shigenaga, the son of Shigenobu, lived from 1697 to 1756, and distinguished himself especially in the middle of the thirties.[1] The rudiments of his art he learned from his father, and then assimilated himself very closely to the style of Masanobu. Although the affinity of mind and temper that attracted him to this artist entitles him to be regarded as his follower, and from the fifties as his legitimate heir and successor, he yet deserves quite as much, at a certain period of his life, probably in his youth, to be called a disciple of that excellent

  1. Anderson Cat., p. 388; Fenollosa Cat., Nos. 40, 57, 80, 92. The dates are taken from the Hayashi Cat.