Page:Japanese Wood Engravings.djvu/24

This page has been validated.
16
JAPANESE WOOD ENGRAVINGS

the artist's pencil could be transferred to wood, that he did most for his countrymen. We do not know who were his engravers, but it is probable that they worked under his immediate supervision, and it is even possible that some of his pictures were cut by his own hand. Nothing could be better in its way than the sketch in Fig. 6. Here are the flowing line of the artist's brush, the free and vivid rendering of action, and the

Japanese Wood Engravings-1895-026.jpg

Fig. 6.—From an engraving after Hishigawa Moronobu (c. 1680). (Author's Collection.)

decorative use of masses of black that have recently inspired a new school of imitators in our own country. The woodcut was for the first time made representative of the art it reproduced.

Moronobu's books in the British Museum Collection include copies of famous pictures, drawings of landscapes and street scenes, illustrated stones, incidents of history, poetry, and in fact almost everything with which we are familiar in the works of later and better known men.[1] He did

  1. A list of the principal engraved works of this artist will be found, together with the first account of his labours, in the Catalogue of the Japanese and Chinese pictures in the British Museum.