Page:A history of Japanese colour-prints by Woldemar von Seidlitz.djvu/391

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NINETEENTH-CENTURY ARTISTS

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and uncontrollable decay. Although some of these works may offer so much that is artistic that, comparing them with the other products of the nineteenth century, we may look up to them with admiration as models that in some respects we have not yet equalled, particularly in regard to decorative power and the keen observation of nature; yet from a Japanese standpoint, and measured by the works of the past, they are unable to engage our interest. Only the landscapes of Hiroshige, with whom this survey concludes, form an exception to this statement.

(Uta­) (gawa ) (Kuni­) (sada) Utagawa Kunisada, often erroneously called simply Toyokuni, like his teacher, though he did not assume the surname Toyokuni II. until the last quarter of his long career, was born in 1787 in Bushu, but spent his life in Yedo.[1] In the beginning, from about 1805, he worked entirely in the style of his teacher Toyokuni. He is first supposed to have achieved celebrity by the likeness of a celebrated actor, and later he became one of the most fertile of actor painters. In collaboration with his master he represented the actor Ishikawa Hakuyen in his principal parts, in a series of some hundred and fifty sheets. In 1808 there appeared the first of his illustrated books. Afterwards, about the middle of the twenties, following the tendency of the times, he included landscape in the scope of his representations; not until about 1830 did he attain his full maturity, and thenceforward he ruled Japanese art side by side with Hokusai and Hiroshige. Duret (Nos. 195, 200) mentions illustrated books by him of the years 1828 to 1833. In collaboration with Hiroshige he illustrated the Tokaido. From the time of his assuming the surname Toyokuni II.—in the year 1844—his style became more careless and his colouring gayer and cruder. It is he who naturalised the discordant glaring colours usual in

  1. Anderson Cat., p. 366; Strange, pp. 50, 114; Fenollosa Cat., Nos. 394-400, 444-447; Cat. Burty, No. 233 ff., 262 ff.; Bing. Cat., No. 693 ff.