Suzuki Harunobu, 1725?-1770

Suzuki Harunobu, 1725?-1770

Suzuki Harunobu, 1725?-1770

Suzuki Harunobu, 1725?-1770

Excerpt

HARUNOBU may truly be said to be the father of the mature woodblock print. Before him, only two colors and black had been used, but thanks to his pioneering and the growing skill of contemporary engravers and printers, it became possible to print in an almost unlimited number of colors and shades. Harunobu was the first to produce these so-called "brocade" pictures, which so ex- cited the French impressionists who "discovered" them in the nineteenth century that in the minds of many people the term ukiyo-e is synonymous with the name of Harunobu.

Besides being a brilliant colorist, Harunobu was also a daring inno- vator, and the quality and scope of his creativity are unmatched. His favorite subject was the commonplace world of Edo's womenfolk, which he endowed with a soft lyricism and a delicate sentimentality. He was singularly successful in capturing the feeling and mood of a large variety of settings, within which he masterfully portrayed his dreamlike conception of idealized womanhood working and playing and loving.

In spite of Harunobu's prolific creativity, the representative selection of his works which this book pre sents gives a well-rounded view of his peculiar genius. The informative text by Ichitaro Kondo, curator at the Tokyo National Museum and noted authority on the ukiyo-e, has been translated and adapted for West ern readers by Kaoru Ogimi, able young bilingual editor and translator.

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