Kobayashi Kiyochika
Kobayashi Kiyochika (���� ���e, September 10, 1847 ? November 28, 1915) was a Japanese ukiyo-e artist of the Meiji period.

Kiyochika is best known for his prints of scenes around Tokyo which reflect the transformations of modernity. He has been described as 'the last important ukiyo-e master and the first noteworthy print artist of modern Japan... [or, perhaps] an anachronistic survival from an earlier age, a minor hero whose best efforts to adapt ukiyo-e to the new world of Meiji Japan were not quite enough'.

The son of a government official, Kiyochika was heavily influenced by Western art, which he studied under Charles Wirgman. He also based a lot of his work on Western etchings, lithographs, and photographs which became widely available in Japan in the Meiji period. Kiyochika also studied Japanese art under the great artists Kawanabe Kyosai and Shibata Zeshin.

His woodblock prints stand apart from those of the earlier Edo period, incorporating not only Western styles but also Western subjects, as he depicted the introduction of such things as horse-drawn carriages, clock towers, and railroads to Tokyo. These show considerable influence from the landscapes of Hokusai and the work of Utagawa Kuniyoshi, but the Western influence is also unquestionable; these are much darker images on the whole, and share many features with Western lithographs and etchings of the time.

These were produced primarily from 1876 to 1881; Kiyochika would continue to publish ukiyo-e prints for the rest of his life, but also worked extensively in illustrations and sketches for newspapers, magazines, and books. He also produced a number of prints depicting scenes from the Sino-Japanese War and Russo-Japanese War, collaborating with caption writer Koppi Dojin, penname of Nishimori Takeki (1861-1913), to contribute a number of illustrations to the propaganda series Nihon banzai hyakusen hyakush? ('Long live Japan: 100 victories, 100 laughs'). (from Wiki)

Miscellaneous works by Kiyochika 0


 

Artist: Kiyochika, Kobayashi (1847-1915)
Title: Ono Omachi
Series: Competative Exhibition of Carving
Date: 1885 January
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Views of Japan - 清親風景眞畫頒布会10


 This is an exceptionally beautiful and important series by Kiyochika for a number of reasons:
  (1) we can see Kiyochika's mastery of 'kosen-ga' at its finest. Kosen-ga are paintings that express an effect of light and gradation of shadows as main techniques. To my knowledge no other series, earlier or later, expresses such perfection of kosen-ga as this series does.
  (2) the beginnings of the Shin-Hanga movement can be clearly witnessed in this series, several years before Kawase Hasui, arguably the greatest Shin-Hanga artist, commenced his career as a woodblock print artist.

  This series has an interesting history. Around 1913 Kiyochika was commissioned by the publisher Matsuki Heikichi to produce sketches for a series of landscape prints that were to be titled '100 Views of Japan'. By the time of Kiyochika's death in 1915 he had about 50 sketches completed. About 36 of these were made into trial prints soon after, however, Matsuki decided not to publish this reduced series until Kiyochika's works became even more popular. The Great Tokyo earthquake then intervened, damaging the woodblocks and delaying the publication of this series. Finally, a total of 26 scenes were published in 1929 after the woodblocks were repaired or recarved. There are also another 10 scenes from the circa 1913-15 trial print edition in circulation, but they are extremely rare (see examples below). Some of the trial print scenes were published in the final 1929 'official' series, but with recarved blocks.
  Although the intended series title was '100 Views of Japan', the 1929 series was issued with the title 'Kobayashi Kiyochika Landscapes', and has been given the unofficial title 'Views of Japan' by collectors. Each print from the 1929 series bears, on the verso, the title and publisher's stamp together with the notation 'Kiyochika Fukei Shin-ga Hampu-kai' (Society for the Distribution of Kiyochika's Landscapes). Prints without any verso text are with little doubt 1915-1920 trial prints (please email me scans if you have any of these trial prints).


Artist: Kiyochika, Kobayashi (1847-1915)
Title: Distant View of Zenkoji Temple in Shinshu Sarashina
Series: Views of Japan
Date: 1915

Artist: Kiyochika, Kobayashi (1847-1915)
Title: Winter Moon - Kinryuzan Viewed from the Banks of the Sumida River
Series: Views of Japan
Date: 1915

Artist: Kiyochika, Kobayashi (1847-1915)
Title: Morning Fuji from Sunshu Okitsu
Series: Views of Japan
Date: 1915

Artist: Kiyochika, Kobayashi (1847-1915)
Title: Distant View of Zenkoji Temple in Shinshu Sarashina
Series: Views of Japan
Date: 1915

Artist: Kiyochika, Kobayashi (1847-1915)
Title: Sudden Evening Shower at Atami in Izu
Series: Views of Japan
Date: 1915

Artist: Kiyochika, Kobayashi (1847-1915)
Title: Cool Moon Evening at Kiyomizudo in the Eastern Capital
Series: Views of Japan
Date: 1915

Artist: Kiyochika, Kobayashi (1847-1915)
Title: Night Scene of Dogashima in Hakone
Series: Views of Japan
Date: 1915

Artist: Kiyochika, Kobayashi (1847-1915)
Title: Rain on Tsukimi Bridge in Tsukishima
Series: Views of Japan
Date: 1915

Artist: Kiyochika, Kobayashi (1847-1915)
Title: Winter Moon - Kinryuzan Viewed from the Banks of the Sumida River
Series: Views of Japan
Date: 1915

Artist: Kiyochika, Kobayashi (1847-1915)
Title: A Cloudy Moon at Haneda
Series: Views of Japan
Date: 1915

Artist: Kiyochika, Kobayashi (1847-1915)
Title: Mountain Autumn Leaves in Myogi
Series: Views of Japan
Date: 1915

Artist: Kiyochika, Kobayashi (1847-1915)
Title: Spring Rain at the Takeya Ferry Crossing, Matsuchiyama
Series: Views of Japan
Date: 1915

Artist: Kiyochika, Kobayashi (1847-1915)
Title: Noto Nanao Mirage
Series: Views of Japan
Date: 1915

Pictures of Famous Places in Tokyo - 東京名所図絵 20
Published by Tanseisha in the largest size available for this series.


 This is one of Kiyochika's most celebrated series published between 1877 and 1880. Interestingly it was published via two different publishers: Matsuki Heikichi and Fukuda Kumajiro, two of the eminent Meiji-era publishers. Original Meiji-era prints in good condition sell for over one thousand dollars here in Japan. The publisher Maria Shobo republished some of the scenes in a slightly larger format in the 1950s. These often have a triangular katakana 'ma' character below the publisher's cartouche. Subsequently in the 1960s/70s the respected publisher Tanseisha republished a selection of scenes in large-oban format.

Artist: Kiyochika, Kobayashi (1847-1915)
Title: Shinbashi Station
Series: Pictures of Famous Places in Tokyo
Date: 1879

Artist: Kiyochika, Kobayashi (1847-1915)
Title: The Nijubashi-Mae Station
Series: Pictures of Famous Places in Tokyo
Date: 1879

Artist: Kiyochika, Kobayashi (1847-1915)
Title: On the Ocean at Shinagawa
Series: Pictures of Famous Places in Tokyo
Date: 1879

Artist: Kiyochika, Kobayashi (1847-1915)
Title: Nightly View of Hiki-fune at Koume in Tokyo
Series: Pictures of Famous Places in Tokyo
Date: 1878 August

Artist: Kiyochika, Kobayashi (1847-1915)
Title: Nipposha of Ginza, Tokyo
Series: Pictures of Famous Places in Tokyo
Date: 31/08/1876

Artist: Kiyochika, Kobayashi (1847-1915)
Title: Ryougoku in the Snow
Series: Pictures of Famous Places in Tokyo
Date: 1879 circa


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