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Kitao Masanobu

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Kitao Masanobu
Edo Hishikawa Printmaker, painter
Japanese, (1761–1816) Iwase (or Haida) Sei. A.: Yusei. F.N.: Denzo, later Jintaro. Go: Kitao Masanobu, Masanobu, Rissai, Santo Kyoden (as a writer).
Ukiyo-e painter and printmaker, and novelist. Born and lived in Edo. Brilliant pupil of Kitao Shigemasa. Using the go Masanobu, he painted famous bijin. As a printmaker and illustrator of his own novels he used the go Kitao Masanobu. In 1783-4 a remarkable publication - one of the most splendid examples of ukiyo-e printing - appeared: "Yoshiwara Keisei Shin Bijin Awase Jihitsu Kagami," an album of seven color prints twice normal size of oban, showing courtesans of the Yoshiwara. But in 1785, under the go of Santo Kyoden his novel "Edo Umare Uwaki no Kabayaki" was published. With this his literary reputation was made, and he gave up printmaking for a literary career. He owned a tobacco accessory shop at Kyobashi, which was a meeting place for famous artists, actors, and writers. His painting has much freshness and vitality. His prints, of which the single sheets are quite rare, and generally rather beautiful.

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