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Kikugawa Eizan

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Kikugawa Eizan
Edo Miyagawa Woodblock print
Japanese, (1787–1867) Kikugawa (originally Omiya) Toshinobu. F.N.: Mangoro, Tamegoro. Go: Chokyusai, Eizan.
Ukiyo-e painter and printmaker who lived in Edo. The son of Kikugawa Eiji, a maker of fans and Kano-style paintings. He was taught first by his father, and then by Suzuki Nanrei and Iwakubo Hokkei; he was also influenced by Utamaro and Hokusai. His paintings, quite in the Kano manner, were commonly signed Eizan Toshinobu. From the early 1800s until he retired about 1830, he became the leading designer of bijinga (based on Utamaro's late style) and actor prints as well as erotica. Groups of women and children were also among his favorite subjects. He was the founder of the so-called Kikugawa style. His work, though competent enough, shows the gradual decline in ukiyo-e work that took place in the late Tokugawa period, and much of it is banal. At its best it is quite good, at its worst poor.


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