Store Front Account Basket Contents   Checkout
Homepage | About Us | Shipping | Reference | Mailing List | Help |
Search for:
Sign In

Feng Shui
Gifts & Decor
Jewelry
Netsuke & Inro
Shop By Creature
Snuff Bottles
Tableware
Tea Shop
The Clearance Items

The highly popular Japanese art form of Ukiyo-e, which was prominent for the better part of three hundred years, is marked by several different eras.  At its height, Ukiyo-e was known for its attention to detail, especially in the woodblock prints, which were the most significant media of the period. 

While landscapes and scenes of ordinary life became popular towards the end of the Ukiyo-e period, woodblock prints of beautiful women were the first subjects of Ukiyo-e artists in the late seventeenth century and these types of prints remained popular until Ukiyo-e fell from prominence in the mid-1800s.  These types of prints were known as "bijin-ga”, which is Japanese for “beautiful woman”.  One of the more popular bijin-ga artists of the later part of the Ukiyo-e period was Kikugawa Eisen, who produced prints for about twenty years at the beginning of the nineteenth century. 

Eisen has been regarded by many as a plagiarist, because his work follows the style of Utamaro Kitagawa.  Kitagawa was seen by many as the greatest Ukiyo-e artist of the late eighteenth century.  He trained many students who carried on his style after his death but Eisen was never trained by Utamaro.  Instead, he studied with his father Kikugawa Eijo, who painted fans and other works in the Kano style, and with Shijo artist Suzuki Nanrei. 

While Eisen's early work is very closely associated with Utamaro's, he began to develop more of a unique style as his career developed.  Flowing lines and sensitivity toward his subject’s emotions mark Eisen’s work.  As you examine Eisen's prints, you can almost imagine the shy sensuality of the women he depicted.  Most of Eisen's series of prints focused on beautiful women, although he also experimented with using children, actors, animals, and landscapes.  He worked in a variety of different print orientations, including full-length portraits, close-ups, and narrow prints.  He also often combined women and children in his bijin-ga works, providing an interesting contrast between innocence and maturity. 

While the last half century of Ukiyo-e art is often seen as a long, slow decline of a once-popular art form, Kikugawa Eisen's work is often seen as the last great bijin-ga prints to emerge from Ukiyo-e.  Some art aficionados have argued that even if his early work was a little too close to that of one of the "greats," his work taken as a whole represents many of the characteristics that marked fine Ukiyo-e depictions of beautiful women.  The characteristics included sensuality, attention to detail, and flowing lines that invite the viewer to run their eyes from one area of the work to the next.  It is perhaps fitting, then, that the artist himself preferred to use the word "furyu" to name his series and prints: "furyu" is a Japanese word, which means "stylish" or "elegant”.


 

Geishas Kabuki Theatre
Sumo Wrestling The Castles of Japan
 
The Great Wave by Hokusai
The Great Wave by Hokusai
Code:fw1002
Price:$27.95
Kabuki by Utagawa
Kabuki by Utagawa
Code:fw1121
Price:$27.95
3 Beauties by Utamaro
3 Beauties by Utamaro
Code:fw1118
Price:$27.95
General in Battle by Utagawa
General in Battle by Utagawa
Code:fw1120
Price:$27.95
Mt Fuji by Hiroshige
Mt Fuji by Hiroshige
Code:fw1010
Price:$27.95
 

 


About Us | Contact Info | Email Us | Homepage | Main Mall Page | Help