Page:Japanese Wood Engravings.djvu/72

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JAPANESE WOOD ENGRAVINGS

to have been developed through a number of pupils of Kunisada and Hokusai from about 1835 or 1840. In style of drawing the Osaka single sheets differ little from those of the Yedo artists, but there are certain peculiarities in the types given to the faces of the different actors that stamp almost all the representations, and the colours are generally stronger and marked by a greater predominance of yellow than in the works of the parent school. The principal names were those of Hokucho, Hokuyei, Hokushiu, Sadamasu, and Shigéharu. The publication of landscape broadsides initiated by Hokusai was taken up by Hiroshigé. This artist, originally a pupil of Toyohiro, at first followed the style of his teacher but developed a new manner before the middle of the century, when he commenced a series of views of Yedo, the Tokaido, and other parts of Japan, of great interest and often of considerable power and beauty (Fig. 28). His work is characterised by unsuccessful attempts to realise effects of perspective, and, occasionally, of light and shade, but his bold and original composition and vigorous drawing gave a high value to many of his designs.[1] Unfortunately, however, the value of much of his later labour in chromoxylography was injured by the bad quality of the colours used by the printers, and his true strength must be seen in his paintings. He died of cholera in 1858 at the age of sixty-one. His only rival in the delineation of scenery was Haségawa Settan, whose labours were confined to drawings for topographical handbooks. The Yedo Meisho dyu-yé the Nenjiu gioji daisei, and the Toto saijiki, in the last of which he was joined by his son Settei, form the monuments to his talent. Amongst the last of the handbook artists was Matsukawa Hanzan, who left some clever illustrations to the Kwaraku (Kioto) Meisho dyu-ye and the Saikoku sanjiu sancho metsho dzu-yé (1854); and Yoyen Yoshitada, the artist of the Zenkōji Michi Meishō dzu-yé (1850). Lastly must be mentioned an entirely independent artist, originally attached to the Naturalistic school of painting, Kikuchi Yōsai, whose drawings of the worthies of ancient Japan, in the twenty volumes of the book called the Zenken Ko-jitsu are superior in refinement and truth to anything of the kind produced by Hokusa, or his school. The portraitures of Yōsai were actually types of the patrician order, while those of the popular artists were either purely

  1. See an article by the Author on Artistic Japan, Vol. 2.