Page:A history of Japanese colour-prints by Woldemar von Seidlitz.djvu/298

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JAPANESE COLOUR-PRINTS

graciousness all the more captivating for being shy and reserved. To be sure, this tendency soon degenerated into exaggeration, but in its beginnings it undoubtedly served to enrich the scope of art.

(Yei­) (shi) Hosoi Yeishi was a pupil of the court painter, Kano Yeisen, of Yedo.[1] His family name was Hosoda, his name in art Tomisamburo, and also Chobunsai (Hayashi Catalogue). It was at the beginning of the eighties that he started on his career, which lasted until the beginning of the nineteenth century. Being then outstripped in popular favour by Utamaro and Toyokuni, he devoted himself from about 1805 to 1815 chiefly to painting, and presented the beauties of the day in numerous pictures of rapid but always distinguished brush-work. His activity unfolded itself almost parallel with that of Shunman, whose tender grey tones he further developed independently, with a stronger accentuation of colour. Like Shunman he inclined toward Kiyonaga's quiet narrative manner and broad composition; but in comparison with the former he enlarged the scope of his representations, not contenting himself with the designing of pleasing groups, but studying actual life in all its phases in the different classes and callings of the people, and thereby offering us a faithful, varied, and animated picture of his times. His woodcuts of the eighties are especially famous (Tokio Catalogue, p. 88). One of 1783 is cited in the Hayashi Catalogue (No. 966), as is an illustrated book of 1788 (No. 1677). It was probably Yeishi who popularised the combination of yellow, carmine, and black.

Towards the beginning of the tenth decade he had fully perfected his style, which found its chief satisfaction in the composition of large triptychs; Fenollosa (Outline, pl. xiv.)

  1. Fenollosa Cat., Nos. 284-299; Anderson, Japanese Wood-Engraving; Bing Cat., No. 331 ff; Goncourt Cat. The Gillot Cat. mentions as his teacher Michinobu, of the Kano school.