Page:A history of Japanese colour-prints by Woldemar von Seidlitz.djvu/288

This page has been validated.

128

JAPANESE COLOUR-PRINTS

surimonos, a series of flowers; further, representations from the animal kingdom: starlings flying across the red sun, 1815 (reproduced by Gonse, i. p. 266), butterflies, &c.

(Katsu­) (kawa ) (Shun­) (cho) Katsukawa Shuncho was probably in the beginning a pupil of Shunsho, but attached himself most closely to Kiyonaga from the beginning of the eighties on.[1] He was gentler by nature than his first teacher, and became a most faithful imitator of the latter's mighty conqueror. He was active until the end of the century; later on he is said to have retired from the field of art, but to have lived on until 1821 at least. The change which he made in the direction of his style must have been the result of conviction, for he is by no means lacking in individuality, and could turn his gift to good account. In the matter of drawing, clear and clean though he always is, he was not able entirely to overcome the influence of his first teacher, which tended to give his contours a certain calligraphic-decorative character; on the other hand, he created for himself, in the treatment of landscapes enlivened with figures, a wholly original means of expression. At times, indeed, the manner in which he renders his landscapes is purely impressionistic. When in the further course of his activity he began to draw near to the new-risen star of Utamaro, he could still steer clear of direct imitation. Strange reproduces at page 36 the bust of a beauty treated in this style. A representation in Kiyonaga's style is reproduced by Anderson.[2]

He also signed himself Kichizayemon and Churinsha or Kisado Shuncho (Hayashi Catalogue, No. 630). Illustrated books by him date from 1786 and 1790, Yedo (ibid., No. 1536 seqq.). A diptych is dated 1786 (ibid., No. 630). The book called Growing Herbs (Yedo, 1790), 2 vols., gives a good
  1. Fenollosa Cat., Nos. 262-274; Anderson Cat., p. 363; Strange, p. 37; Bing Cat., No. 282 ff.
  2. Japanese Wood-Engraving, pl. iv.