Page:A history of Japanese colour-prints by Woldemar von Seidlitz.djvu/255

This page has been validated.

THE POLYCHROME PRINT

113

Of his illustrated works in polychrome, the following may be mentioned:—

  • Theatre fans. Yedo, 1769.
  • Kobi no Tsubo, a collection of actor likenesses, 1770, still somewhat conventional, but very effective in colour.
  • Nishiki hiakunin isshiu azumi ori, the hundred celebrated poets (Yedo, 1774), one of his principal works.
  • Sairo bijin awase sugata kagami, mirror of the beauties of the Green
  • Houses, in collaboration with Shigemasa, 3 vols. Yedo, 1776. Sanjirokkasen, the six-and-thirty poets. Yedo, 1775.

Other works in Duret.

The Green Houses is probably the most beautiful illustrated work that Japanese art ever produced. The beauties who dwell in the green-painted houses of pleasure are here generally represented in fours on a double sheet, engaged in the various occupations of their daily life, playing, smoking, at music, painting, poetry, in the garden. Also some sheets with very beautiful conventionalised plants. A characteristic of this work is a special light rose colour which predominates with violet, grey-brown, and yellow, and gives a very delicate effect.

  • Another celebrated work, in which he likewise collaborated with Shigemasa, is the illustrations of Sericulture, in twelve sheets, each usually representing three people at work, with explanatory verses above.
  • With Buncho he edited, in 1770, a series of actor likenesses in quarter length, each represented on a fan: Yehon butai ogi; the earliest book of polychrome prints, after those of Harunobu.
  • Lastly, with his contemporary Toyoharu, he edited a folio representing the twelve months, the sheets divided diagonally, with landscapes on the upper part and groups mostly of three figures on the lower; the slender figures are very graceful in movement, the shading very soft; evidently a work of his early days.

A very numerous flock of pupils was educated by him, and it is difficult to differentiate them, as they followed his style with

H