Page:A history of Japanese colour-prints by Woldemar von Seidlitz.djvu/293

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THE CULMINATION: KIYONAGA

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Illustrated books were produced by the following: Yamaguchi Sojun, album of drawings, Kioto, 1804; caricatures, Yedo, 1799, 3 vols. Keisan Takusho, drawings of bamboo plants, Yedo, 1804.

This is the place to revert to an artist who, like Korin a hundred years previously, occupied a position entirely unique in the development of Japanese engraving, namely, (Kita­) () (Masa­) (yoshi) Kitao Keisai Masayoshi (not Keisai Kitao Masayoshi). A son and pupil of Shigemasa (Kosiusai), he was born in 1761 and began work about 1780, at the time when Kiyonaga was at his zenith.[1] Between 1787 and 1823 he produced a number of books with reproductions of his sketches overflowing with life and esprit (see page 59), through which he influenced, not inconsiderably, the young Hokusai who, from the end of the century, was coming rapidly to the fore. He died in 1824. With him awoke anew the love of and reverence for nature, and the conscientiousness in the rendering of details which had slumbered since the days of Korin. Simultaneously with Utamaro he began to give an independent significance to landscape, and to observe carefully the shapes of animals and the formation of plants; but he does not render them with the almost meticulous accuracy of Utamaro (who always remained before all things a draughtsman), but with the strength and boldness of a painter who keeps in view the total colour impression and understands how to render it with a few broad strokes, without, however, neglecting accuracy of detail where it is essential. He often signed his books Joshin. Especially famous is an album of sketches of flowers in bloom, without contour, Yedo, 1813 (Berlin Kunstgewerbemuseum); and also the Choju riakugwashiki, representations of animals, 1797. His
  1. Anderson Cat., p. 347; Cat. Burty, No. 204 ff.; Bing. Cat., No. 305 ff.; Fenollosa Cat., No. 222 ff. The date of Masayoshi's birth is taken from the Hayashi Cat. (No. 499).