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Katsukawa Shun'ei

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Katsukawa Shun'ei
Edo Miyagawa Woodblock print
Japanese, (1762–1819) Katsukawa (originally Isoda) Kyujiro. F.N.: Kyujiro. Go: Kyutokusai, Shun'ei.
Ukiyo-e painter and printmaker. A man of diverse interests: a musician, a devotee of the theatre, a painter of witty sketches and caricatures. He lived in Edo, and was a brilliant pupil of Katsukawa Shunsho, whose surname he adopted. He specialized in actor prints and scenes from plays, giving an individual and at time biting characterization to his portraits. He may have started the fashion for okubi-e of actors, though this is in question. His best work is from 1791 to 1795, when it revealed influence from Sharaku and Toyokuni. He is regarded as almost the equal of his master, but his work is more versatile and has a wider range. Also illustrated books, including the seven volumes of "Shibai Kimmo Zui" (an encyclopedia of the theatre). By 1800 he was one of the most prominent ukiyo-e figures and the leader of the Katsukawa school.

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