Japan art and Toyoshige (Toyokuni II)
Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The Japanese artist Utagawa Toyoshige (Toyokuni II) was born in 1777. In time, he took over the mantle of the art school of Utagawa. However, individuals, including the esteemed Kunisada, believed that Toyoshige did not deserve to take over from Toyokuni I after his death.
The British Museum says, “Pupil of Toyokuni I, adopted by him in the New Year of 1824, or before. Earliest works c. 1823. Known for prints of actors and ‘bijin’ and illustrations for ‘gokan’. In 1825 assumed the name Toyokuni II on the death of Toyokuni I. In early 1830s designed some fine landscape prints and did a few paintings. No works known after c. 1835 and is assumed to have died or given up painting.”
In the first art piece, the popular tourist destination of Enoshima is depicted by Toyoshige. The stunning Mount Fuji can be seen in all its splendor. Hence, in this delightful art piece, you can feel the artistic skills of Toyoshige concerning landscapes.
Overall, Toyoshige is wrongly downplayed for his artistic skills. If anything, he was tied to the commercial traits of the Utagawa art school. Therefore, the real Toyoshige was equally subdued by the position that befell him.
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