Katsushika Hokusai, Ukiyo-e & Edo Period Japan

Artists of the Ukiyo-e

Hishikawa Moronobu

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Born: 1618
Died: 1694
Style: The first Ukiyo-e master and the most important artist using this style during his lifetime

Moronobu was born in 1618 the son of an artisan. He moved from his home in Awa Province to the city of Edo in 1662 where he studied both the Tosa and Kano styles of painting. From there Moronobu turned to the Ukiyo-e and was soon considered to be the foremost print-artist in his field.

Moronobu's work encompased the first true style of Ukiyo-e. He used a strong, linear style to consolidate Ukiyo-e into a mature form and his work would influence artists for the next two hundred years.

A selection of work by Moronobu

i.A youth carrying a lady: a painting on silk
ii.The Sumida Gawa, a theatrical picture: imagery derived from theatrical performance - the mainstay of Ukiyo-e
iii.Watanabe No Tsuna Guarding the Demon's Arm: an illustration from a legendary Japanese story
iv.An example of Shunga: Shunga are a form of erotic imagery usually in the ukiyo-e style
v.Ukiyo Zukushi: image from an ehon illustrated book