Page:A history of Japanese colour-prints by Woldemar von Seidlitz.djvu/252

This page has been validated.

112

JAPANESE COLOUR-PRINTS

of his dress-patterns became almost too rich. Almost all his pupils followed him in the representation of actors; among them Shunko and Buncho rank high, also Shunyei, Shunzan, Shuncho, and Shumman; but he achieved his highest renown by numbering among his pupils Shunro, who afterwards, under the name of Hokusai, rose to such great importance. When Kiyonaga became supreme in the eighties, Shunsho, like his contemporary Toyoharu, devoted himself entirely to painting.

His first print, about 1764, represented the five actors known by the name of Gonin Otoko. Towards the end of the sixties this artist develops his fullest activity. He produced innumerable actor prints all of them noted for their vivacity of movement and strength of colouring, although the expression of emotion was of less consequence than in Harunobu or Kiyonaga. With an extremely simple yet effective arrangement of draperies, Shunsho succeeded, by his clever distribution of black masses, in producing an admirably decorative effect, for which the rendering of actors in women's parts—which in Japan are always taken by men—offered him special opportunities. Strange reproduces a picture of this class (plate iii.), and also one with two actors at page 94; also Anderson (Japanese Wood-Engraving) on plate iii. Fenollosa (Outline, pl. x.) reproduces a print from the Seiro Bijin Awase of 1775.

Other works by him are:

  • Five representations from the play Sembonzakura.
  • Likenesses of actors in quarter length, in frames, oblong octavo, very delicately coloured.
  • Sheets of wrestlers, such as Shunko, Shunyei, and others produced.
  • Beautiful surimonos.
  • A kakemono-ye, two young women playing with a monkey.
  • A Buddhist winged angel, playing the lute, reminding us of Italian Renaissance compositions.
  • A horse under a cherry tree in blossom.
  • No-dancer, of larger size (Berlin Kunstgewerbemuseum).