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Hishikawa Moronobu

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Hishikawa Moronobu
Edo Hishikawa Woodblock print
Japanese, (1618–1694) Hishikawa (originally Furuyama) Moronobu. F.N.: Kichibei. Go: Yuchiku.
Ukiyo-e painter, printmaker and illustrator. Born in Hodamura, Awa Province, died in Edo. Son of a well-known embroiderer and dyer of textiles. At first he followed the family business, then around 1658 he worked as the apprentice to an unidentified painter. He studied Tosa, Kano, Hasegawa, and genre painting. The first illustrated book signed by him is dated 1672. His books (59 bear his name, over 100 are attributed to him) deal with famous historical and literary subjects and the world of the courtesan. His paintings, perhaps done only from 1670, are generally of bijin in profile, with long faces and knees slightly bent. Was a pioneer of the ukiyo-e school, and through Moronobu the woodblock print acheived its status as an art work in its own right. The first to design single-sheet prints. His subjects were the life of the Yoshiwara and the theatre. His prints and book illustrations are in black and white only.

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