Sunday, November 25, 2007

Kawanabe Kyosai

"Kawanabe Kyosai was born with the original name of Shusaburo as the son of a samurai. When he was only 6 years old, he joined the school of the great ukiyo-e master Utagawa Kuniyoshi. Later he studied traditional Japanese painting at the Kano school.

Kyosai was an eccentric guy who exaggerated everything he did - from his consumption of sake wine to his painting and printmaking style. With his fellow artists Kunichika and Kobayashi Kiyochika, Kyosai frequently went on drinking binges. Like Kunichika he was great in inventing great stories.

The output of Kawanabe Kyosai's creativity was enormous. At the end of his life, he had produced hundreds of paintings, prints and illustrated books.

The paintings and print subjects of Kyosai are from traditional to bizarre and fantastic. He was incredibly imaginative and created designs that have no relations to any known art works of any other Japanese or Western artists. His drawing style was unique and at the same time he was capable of painting in the finest traditional style of a 18th century painter." - quote source.

The above works, all dated in the late 19th century were found at the British Museum online gallery. Type in Kawanabe Kyosai in the search engine here to see many more of his prints.

Check out the following links for more on Kyosai..

Gallery of Kyosai's prints at Wikimedia Commons.

Kawanabe Kyosai's Cluttered Genius

Article on Kyosai at Wikipedia with more art.

Kyosai article at Art of the print website, scroll down to see more artworks.

Another gallery with 6 prints on display.

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