August 14, 2022

Japan artwork and Utagawa Kunimasa (1773-1810): Yakusha-e

Lee Jay Walker

Fashionable Tokyo Instances

The Japanese artist Utagawa Kunimasa (1773-1810) was born throughout the Edo Interval. Kunimasa was born within the province of Iwashiro. Nonetheless, like many artists drawn to Kyoto, Osaka, and Tokyo (Edo), he additionally moved to Tokyo to additional his profession.

Kunimasa developed below Utagawa Toyokuni from the college of Utagawa. Toyokuni taught many distinguished artists – together with Kunisada and Kuniyoshi. Therefore, Kunimasa was in good fingers throughout his creative growth.

The British Museum says, “In 1795 and 96, he produced a collection of bust portraits of actors based mostly on the model of his trainer, however with a brand new and contemporary character to them. He went on to supply three-quarter-length and full-length portraits. After c. 1804 he nearly ceased to work.”

The world of Kabuki actors and themes turned a lifestyle for Kunimasa. Thus yakusha-e (actor prints) portraits prop up closely when viewing Kunimasa’s work. He additionally centered on bijin-ga (lovely particular person image – lovely ladies) artwork that depicted beautiful ladies.

Kunimasa was influenced by Toyokuni. Whereas hints of Sharaku’s artwork abound inside a few of the art work of Kunimasa.

Therefore, with Kunimasa dying comparatively younger, it’s laborious to know if he would have developed a extra unbiased model. Certainly, by the age of 31, it seems that in poor health well being – and different elements – ended his profession (six years later, he would move away).


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