Keisai Eisen (1790-1848) a genius artist who’s active in the later years of the Edo period. Born in Edo Hoshigaoka, his mother passed away when he’s six. He lost his father and stepmother at the age of twenty. Keisai Eisen worked for the Mizuno family for a period of time where he was ill-treated. Keisai Eisen then tried to become a playwright writer where he experienced lots of setback and hardship. Keisai Eisen later became a disciple of the famous artist Kikukawa Eizan where he finally dabbled in the field of ukiyoe. Although Keisai Eisen’s a disciple of Kikukawa Eizan, he’s an admirer of Hokusai and even visited the latter house and learnt from him. Hokusai was also well-known to be a rather eccentric person so that could be the reason for their unusual relationship. Keisai Eisen’s a womanizer and specializes in drawing beautiful ladies. At his time, it’s a trend to draw beautiful women with a height proportion that’s eight times the size of the head (Hattoushin). However Keisai Eisen displayed his creativity as he captured the women for who they are in his art; his originality captured the attention of the public which catapulted him into popularity during the Bunsei period.
Evening Bell at Mii-dera Temple
In this piece, we see that Keisai Eisen’s skills are not limited to portraying beautiful ladies as the realistic Sakura tree in the background and the elaborate outfit depicting a tiger in front of a waterfall prove that he’s also capable of portraying beautiful nature.
In Kogiku, Keisai Eisen experiments with the different hues of blue with various patterns incorporated in the accessories, flowers and hair ornaments. One could never get bored looking at the amazing details.
Woman of Unyielding Appearance (1822-23)
In this work, the focus is on the expression of a woman who’s putting on red lipstick in front of the mirror. Keisai Eisen once again proves his excellent ability as he highlights the beauty of the lady with her dainty gesture and revealing clothes.
This amazing article written by Yeong!