Page:A history of Japanese colour-prints by Woldemar von Seidlitz.djvu/338

This page has been validated.

156

JAPANESE COLOUR-PRINTS

activity been longer continued, would have sunk into an unhealthy atmosphere. If we consider with what wonderful completeness precisely this artist is represented in the Paris collections, and especially in that of Count Camondo, we cannot suppress the suspicion that something like jealousy sounds out of Fenollosa's words. The exaggeration of facial expression has certainly gone to greater lengths in Sharaku than in any other artist. But we cannot deny that these distorted features bespeak a most superior mind that grips the observer, as well as does the greatness of his drawing, down to the patterns of the costumes, and the extraordinary sureness of taste which succeeds in harmonising deep, opaque colours that are found nowhere else. In representing whole figures he usually groups two of them on one design; the flesh is usually left uncoloured, as it is sufficiently clearly brought out by the contrast with the mica background.

Kurth (Utamaro, p. 82) states that his name was Saito Inrobei Kabukido Toshusai Yenkyo Sharaku (Hayashi Catalogue), that he began by being a No-dancer to the lord of the southern province of Awa, and that he published several series of actor pictures with the firm of Juzabro in 1790, but was forced to discontinue his work, owing to the indignation caused by his realism.

(Uta­) (gawa ) (Toyo­) (kuni) 3. Toyokuni.—Utagawa Toyokuni, whose real name was Kumakichi, also called Ichiyosai, and who lived from 1769-1825, began his activity about the middle of the ninth decade, and continued it until about 1810. He became, towards the end of Utamaro's career, his most notable rival. While he did not possess the strength and boldness of Yeishi and Utamaro, he yet commanded a wholly individual and well-considered style. He won a special significance for the further development of the nineteenth century by his having trained Kunisada, who later called himself Toyokuni II., and Kuniyoshi, both of whom