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Koryusai Isoda

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Isoda Koryusai
Edo Hishiwaka painter, printmaker, illustrator
Japanese Isoda Masakatsu. F.N.: Shobei. Go: Haruhiro, Koryusai, Koriu.
Koryusai was born a samurai in the service of the lord of Tsuchiya. Upon the death of his master he became a 'ronin', that is unattached. After this, he took up the calling of an artist as a means of livelihood, and moved to Edo. He was perhaps a pupil of Nishimura Shigenaga, but was very much influenced by Harunobu's technique, and as a few early prints exist that were signed Haruhiro, it is more likely that he was a pupil of Harunobu. It also seems the name Koryusai was given to him by Harunobu, when he no longer used it himself. In 1781 he was given the honorary rank of hokkyo. His output of prints and book illustrations was enormous. In 1770 he designed his well-known set "Models of Fashion." He made excellent kachoga (which are much sought after), bijinga, and particularly hashira-e. His work is marked by the use of a strong orange color; and his figures are less unworldly than Harunobu's. It is believed that after 1780 he devoted himself entirely to painting, in which he worked with considerable freedom of line and under a noticeable Kano influence. (Roberts, 90) Koryusai is best known for his long, narrow pillar prints (hashira-ye), which were intended as interior decoration. As such, few have survived to the present.

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