Page:A history of Japanese colour-prints by Woldemar von Seidlitz.djvu/237

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THE POLYCHROME PRINT

105

his style of drawing, though not his colour, that some have thought they could recognise in him a new phase of Harunobu under another name. This man is (Ko­) (riu­) (sai)Koriusai, whose real name was Isoda Shobei, a samurai of the Tsuchiya family, who also called himself Masakatsu Haruhiro, or the hermit of Yagenbori; he lived in Yedo and was very probably a pupil of Harunobu.[1] Their similarity lies chiefly in their drawing, but as the colouring of the two men is absolutely different, the idea, alleged to be that of the Japanese themselves, that there were two Koriusais, the one being simply identical with a certain phase of Harunobu's development, is probably a mistaken one. Koriusai was at work through the whole of the seventies, but about 1780 turned to painting, which he probably abandoned in 1782. He is especially remarkable for his deep and most original colouring, in which predominate a dark orange red, a deep, somewhat mottled blue, and also a black admirably applied in broad masses. This colouring lends a dignified and serious aspect to his presentations, which, like Harunobu's, are especially occupied with delineations of women. His genre pictures, agreeable but rather lifeless, are very numerous; but his activity lay chiefly in kakemono-ye, on which he introduced first two, then three, and at length several figures; indeed, his output in this line is more considerable than that of all other artists combined, and in point of finish and fulness of composition may be regarded as the highest achievement in this species of print. In this style he produced eight views of Lake Omi, typified by figures; a youth of rank with a falcon on his wrist, and Fuji in the background, and many others. According to the Tokio Catalogue (p. 65) almost two-thirds of all kakemono-ye are from his hand. During the time of his activity a further change in coiffure begins to take place; from about 1772 the middle coil projects in its full breadth,

  1. Strange, p. 32; Fenollosa Cat., Nos. 143, 147, 151, 154-160; Bing Cat, No. 146 ff. The Hayashi Cat. speaks of him as a pupil of Shigenaga.