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Kobayashi Eitaku

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Kobayashi Eitaku

A painter, illustrator and print designer, Eitaku was the third son of Miura Kichisaburo, a fishmonger at Nihombashi Uogashi. He became the adopted son of Kanō Eishin and at about the age of twelve or thirteen he became a pupil of Kanō Eitoku Tatsunobu (1814-1891.) A few years later he was employed by Ii Naosuke, Lord of Hakone, as an official painter and was given the rank of samurai. In 1860, when Ii was assassinated, Eitaku resigned his position and began travels throughout Japan, finally returning to settle in Nihonbashi. Trained in Kanō school painting, he was influenced by various styles, including Ming, nanga, and Western-style painting, merging them into his own personal style of realism. He studied briefly with Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) in the 1870s and Keyes reports that after traveling to Kōfu with Yoshitoshi the two "fell into disagreement and separated." He designed color prints in ukiyo-e style after c. 1870 and created newspaper illustrations and nishiki-e for a number of newspapers including the Yokohama mainichi shimbun, Eiri jiyu shinbun and Kakushu shinbun zukai no uchi. In 1879 he illustrated Kanagaki Robun's biography of Ulysses S. Grant. He also created e-hon such as Banbutsu hinagata gafu and Sensai Eitaku gafu. He may be most remembered for the many illustrations he created for the early "crepe paper books" (chirimenbon) for children written by Hasegawa Takejiro (1853-1936) and published by Kobunsha. He specialized in historical subjects and figures.


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