Page:A history of Japanese colour-prints by Woldemar von Seidlitz.djvu/245

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THE POLYCHROME PRINT

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is said to have only died in 1819; if so no works from his hand during these last decades of his life are extant. He progressed slowly and did not develop his full activity until the seventh decade, producing little, but dedicating himself with comparative zeal to book-illustration. Then, at last, toward the end of the seventies, he reaches his full height. His works are rare, and only the early ones are signed with his name, but still his unsigned productions show his characteristics unmistakably. His kakemono-ye are also rare, but among them are some very beautiful things; Fenollosa considers the sheet with two lovers and a man holding an ape (Catalogue, No. 215), which he places about 1781, as perhaps the most beautiful of this class. As he is simpler in his drawing than Koriusai and Shunsho, so he is also softer in colouring. The best draughtsman of the generation active in the seventh decade, he is particularly happy in rendering with perfected art the sinuous movement of garments, as, in general, he is unexcelled in lively movement, e.g. in his print of the No-dancer with the fox mask of about 1777. He collaborated with several of his contemporaries in the illustration of books.

Of his single sheets Fenollosa cites among others (Catalogue, No. 208) a series of geishas, which he dates circa 1775, and which form a kind of pendant to Koriusai's series of courtesans. From his very early period there dates a three-colour print of a young man acting as umpire at a cock-fight.

Besides the ordinary genre pictures, he also did animal representations; Bing (Catalogue, No. 299 ff.) cites a cock with a hen, horses (with blind printing), an eagle on the alert; further, irises on the edge of a brook down which drinking-cups are floating, a view of the river Sumida in Yedo. Beautiful renderings of plants on large oblong sheets are to be found in Gonse's collection. Strange gives a reproduction of one of his prints at page 24.