Utagawa Toyokuni I

Japanese, 1769-1825

63 followers

Utagawa Toyokuni I

Japanese, 1769-1825

63 followers

Ukiyo-e artist Utagawa Toyokuni catapulted the eponymous Utagawa School to fame with his prints of elegant courtesans and actors, book illustrations, and paintings. He had a strong reputation during his lifetime and taught a host of talented students who carried on the traditions of the Utagawa School, including Utagawa Kunisada and Kuniyoshi. Toyokuni drew inspiration from the famous contemporary artists around him, particularly from Kitagawa Utamaro. During the early 1790s, his output mainly consisted of portraits of courtesans, who bear an elegance and idealism indicative of the period. These works set a standard for bijin-ga (pictures of beautiful women) for Ukiyo-e artists for generations to come. Through the 1790s and 1800s, Toyokuni not only captured actors’ stage roles, but also their private lives and individual personalities in his yakusha-e (actor prints).

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Collected by a major institution
Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields
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