Page:A history of Japanese colour-prints by Woldemar von Seidlitz.djvu/309

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THE PERIOD OF UTAMARO

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graphies of Japanese artists (Outamaro; Paris, 1891). However, we must not omit to notice, in considering the entire sphere of Utamaro's activity, that, over and above his significance for the history of civilisation, he possessed also an artistic significance of unusual importance, manifested for the most part in those productions which appeared before the time of his degeneracy, but sometimes even those of his already thoroughly mannered period. This significance indeed belongs to him not merely as an isolated phenomenon, but, on the contrary, he also plays a great part in the development of Japanese art, both as its guide to new stages, and as fructifier of the whole subsequent period.

(Tori­) (yama ) (Seki­) (yen)Utamaro's teacher, Toriyama Sekiyen, also called Toyofusa (1712-1788), who had issued from the old Kano school of painting, which held fast to Chinese traditions, seems to have had but slight influence upon him.[1] Judging from the illustrated books which he published in the seventies, Sekiyen still belonged entirely to the generation of popular artists influenced by Harunobu and Shunsho. Fenollosa, who calls him an excellent painter, believes him to have studied together with Toyoharu under Ishikawa Toyonobu. His works are the following:—

  • Toriyama Sekiyen gwafu, large sketch-book in several tints, of 1774.
  • Gwajikihen, illustrated legends. 1777.
  • Hiakki yagio, the hundred monsters of the night (spirits), in black and grey, 1779; also in a reprint.

Besides Utamaro, Sekiyen had the following pupils: Hokujin Fujo (Hayashi Catalogue, No. 922) and Sekijo (ibid., No. 952), who, according to Kurth, were later on both influenced by Utamaro; finally Nagayoshi (Choki), his most important pupil, who will be discussed further on. Kurth (Utamaro, p. 48) also mentions Koikawa Shuncho, who is here placed among Utamaro's pupils as a pupil of Sekiyen.

Only in one of six sheets by Utamaro relating to poems

  1. Fenollosa Cat., No. 305; Goncourt, Outamaro, p. 4; Anderson Cat., p. 344.