Recognized as one of the most interesting and vibrant artists from the Edo period, Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797–1861) is a major exponent of ukiyo-e in the early 1800s.Read more
He trained under the master Utagawa Toyokuni. His fame is
tied to the series of polychrome xylographs that illustrate the 108 heroes from the novel Suikoden (Brigands), which became a bestseller in China and Japan in the late 1700s, promoting the imagery of brigands who defend the people
suppressed by injustice and government corruption. Violent, powerful, armed people with muscular bodies covered in tattoos that today inspire manga, anime, tattoo artists and illustrators across the world. Kuniyoshi affirmed the
genre of warrior prints, but he was also interested in portraits of female beauties, kabuki actors, landscapes, children and ghosts, another greatly admired genre in Japan. His name is above all associated with illusion, shadows and Arcimboldo-like composite figures, figures within figures and parodies of stories and battles with animals, objects, sweets, food. His images are fantastical, baroque, rich in colour, of great detail, with imposing characters and dynamic actions. A versatile and intriguing figure for the variety of subjects, from female beauties and monsters to animals and heroes, and for the impressive technique that gave life to a school carried forth for generations.
• Kuniyoshi is regarded as one of the true masters of ukiyo-e.
• Kuniyoshi is perhaps best-known for his musha-e (“warrior prints”), vivid and complex images of warriors, ghosts, demons and monsters.
• A must for Japanese art lovers, fans or collectors of Kuniyoshi.