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Edo Miyagawa Printmaker
Japanese, (1726–1792) Katsukawa (originally Miyagawa) Shunsho. F.N.: Yusuke. Go: Jugasei, Kyokurosai, Kyokurosei, Ririn, Rokurokuan, Shuntei, Yuji.
Katsukawa Shunsho was an important Ukiyo-e painter and printmaker who lived in Edo. Shunsho first studied under the painters Katsukawa Shunsui and Ko Sukoku, then turned to prints. Little is known about his personal life. He taught many pupils, including Shuncho, Shundo, Shun'ei, Shunjo, Shunko, Shunzan, and Hokusai. He used a seal on which the name Hayashi appears as inscribed on the side of a jar (tsubo), hence he was called Tsubo. A considerable number of his paintings are extant, usually of genre scenes peopled with bijin. Abandoning the tradition of a school that had kept entirely to painting, he began to design color prints and became one of the great ukiyo-e print designers. At first he was much influenced by Harunobu, but his great contribution came with his prints of actors (which are among the finest of his day) and, occasionally, of wrestlers. Done as hosoban, the actors were represented both on the stage in their leading roles and in their dressing rooms, with individual features given to each actor. In 1776, with Kitao Shigemasa, he illustrated the famous book "Seiro Bijin Awase Sugata Kagami" (Mirror of Beautiful Women of the Green Houses). A prolific and popular artist, and one of the most important of his period, he dominated the actor-print field in his time. The quality of his work was very high - with subtle designs and striking color combinations.

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