Kuniyoshi


Today I saw another exhibit at the Royal Academy of the Arts.  It was incredible.  I definitely recommend if you are in the area.  It runs through 07 June 2009.

Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861) was rival to Hokusai, Hiroshige and Kunisada in the thriving industry of color woodblock printing in the mid-nineteenth-century Edo (now known by Tokyo).  
Kuniyoshi specialized in depictions of samurai warriors, images of beautiful women, landscapes, and Kabuki actors.  He had regular issues with the censors after the government’s economic and social reforms of 1841-43, he sharpened the bite of comic prints with a new genre, the “riddle picture”, which included the Earth Spider, a widely pirated satire on the times.  Kuniyoshi may have designed as many as ten thousand sheet prints.  
The exhibit consisted of six sections: Warriors I, Warriors II, Beautiful Women, Landscapes, Theatre, and Humor.  My favorite was Beautiful Women just for all of the colors used and to see the contrast between Western and Eastern beliefs of what makes something or someone beautiful.
For more on Kuniyoshi see here.  
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