Decadence and Dissolution: Tattoo and Kabuki Art By Kunichika (Ukiyo-e Master Series)

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9781840683035: Decadence and Dissolution: Tattoo and Kabuki Art By Kunichika (Ukiyo-e Master Series)

Toyohara Kunichika (1835-1900) was one of the last great masters of ukiyo-e, the Japanese art of woodblock-printing which peaked in the late Edo and early Meiji periods. Inspired by the plays, actors and customs of kabuki theatre, and using vibrant new chemical dyes imported from Europe, Kunichika created a visually dazzling pictorial record of this long-lost, decadent underworld of old Edo. As well as creating "mirrors” of popular productions and stars, he also cast the most dynamic actors of his time in the roles of tattooed robbers, samurai, female bandits and other elements from society's fringes, immortalising them in dozens of intense and intricate print series and tableaux. Even as ukiyo-e came under threat from the emergence of new imaging technologies, Kunichika remained true to his art until the very end of the 19th century. DECADENCE AND DISSOLUTION - edited by Jack Hunter (who also edited the ground-breaking extreme ukiyo-e anthology "Dream Spectres”) - collects over 150 of Kunichika's most striking and innovative designs from kabuki theatre, presented in large-format and full-colour throughout. Many have never been published before, even in Japan. Extensive sections on tattoo pictures, single-sheet actor portraits and wide-screen triptychs are augmented by a foreword and a listing of Kunichika's most important series. Fourth in a dynamic new series presenting the cutting edge of 19th century Japanese art.

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About the Author:

Toyohara Kunichika (1835-1900) was a leaidng Japanese woodblock print artist. Talented as a child, at about thirteen he became a student of Tokyo's then-leading print maker, Utagawa Kunisada. His deep appreciation and knowledge of kabuki drama led to his production primarily of ukiyo-e actor-prints, which are woodblock prints of kabuki actors and scenes from popular plays of the time.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Born Oshima Yasohachi in 1835, in the Kyobashi area of Edo, and also known as Arawaka Yasohachi, Toyohara Kunichika derived his artist name from the two teachers who schooled him from the age of eleven onwards - Toyohara Chikanobu and Utagawa Kunisada, the latter a recognised ukiyo-e master. Kunichika's first published prints appeared in the early 1850s, and he first came to public attention in the 1860s. Some of the best-known series he produced from 1863 onwards include Mitate shiranami hakkei ("8 Parodies Of Bandits, 1865); Kandehon Chushingura ("47 Ronin”, 1866); and Adesugata kesho jiman ("Pride Of Beauties Dressing”, 1866), the latter an example of his frequent bijinga (pictures of beautiful women) excursions, which perhaps peaked in 1890's Mitate chuya nijuyoji no uchi (Parody Of The 24 Hours Of The Day”). Like other ukiyo-e artists, Kunichika ventured into several genres, including shunga (erotic prints), book illustration, and also shinbun nishiki-e (news-sheets), producing several works for the Tokyo kakushu shinbun around 1876. Kunichika's prints of the 1860s also feature numerous musha-e (warrior) subjects, such as his popular triptych Suikoden jigoku meguri ("Suikoden Heroes In Hell”, 1864), and his 1868 series Zan-aku kijin kagami ("Demonic Mirror of Good And Evil”) often rivals Yoshitoshi's innovative 100 Warriors In Battle,1 from the same year, in its dynamism and kinetic violence.2 The fundamental difference between these two series, however, is that whereas Yoshitoshi was drawing inspiration from real life (having witnessed first-hand the bloody Battle of Ueno), Kunichika's figures were derived from another arena - the kabuki stage. In 1869, Kunichika intensified his production of yakusha-e ("actor portraits”) with an innovative 22-part series showing kabuki actors' faces in extreme close-up, and set against richly coloured backgrounds created with imported chemical dyes. He also exported this close-up technique to the diptych and triptych formats, portraying actors in half-body poses, often employing anamorphic distortion. From that point onward Kunichika became the foremost chronicler of kabuki theatre, developing a comprehensive knowledge of plays, players, and performances. In particular, he would document the many roles essayed by the three leading actors of his time - Ichikawa Danjuro IX (1839-1903), Onoe Kikugoro V (also known as Baiko, 1844-1903), and Ichikawa Sadanji I (1842-1904). ....

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Descrizione libro CREATION BOOKS, United Kingdom, 2013. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Toyohara Kunichika (illustratore). Language: English . Brand New Book. Toyohara Kunichika (1835-1900) was one of the last great masters of ukiyo-e, the Japanese art of woodblock-printing. Inspired by the plays, actors and customs of kabuki theatre and using vibrant new chemical dyes imported from Europe, Kunichika created a visually dazzling pictorial record of this long-lost, decadent underworld of old Edo. Decadence and Dissolution collects over 150 of Kunichika s most striking and innovative designs from kabuki theatre, presented in large-format and full-colour throughout. Codice libro della libreria AAS9781840683035

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Descrizione libro CREATION BOOKS, United Kingdom, 2013. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Toyohara Kunichika (illustratore). Language: English . Brand New Book. Toyohara Kunichika (1835-1900) was one of the last great masters of ukiyo-e, the Japanese art of woodblock-printing. Inspired by the plays, actors and customs of kabuki theatre and using vibrant new chemical dyes imported from Europe, Kunichika created a visually dazzling pictorial record of this long-lost, decadent underworld of old Edo. Decadence and Dissolution collects over 150 of Kunichika s most striking and innovative designs from kabuki theatre, presented in large-format and full-colour throughout. Codice libro della libreria AAS9781840683035

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