Toyohara Kunichika

Jun 30, 1835 - Jul 1, 1900

Toyohara Kunichika was a ukiyo-e 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 yakusha-e, which are woodblock prints of kabuki actors and scenes from popular plays of the time.
An alcoholic and womanizer, Kunichika also portrayed women deemed beautiful, contemporary social life, and a few landscapes and historical scenes. He worked successfully in the Edo period, and carried those traditions into the Meiji period. To his contemporaries and now to some modern art historians, this has been seen as a significant achievement during a transitional period of great social and political change in Japan's history.
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