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Eishi (1756 - 1829)

Parody of the Tsutsu Izutsu Story from the Tales of Ise

Medium: Woodblock Print
Date: c. 1793
Size (H x W): 14.5 x 9.75 (inches)
Publisher: Nishimuraya Yohachi (Eijudo)
Seals: Kiwame
Signature: Eishi ga
Condition: Good impression, fair color, some soiling and wear, some creases, small tape on reverse top edge.

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About the artist

Eishi Hosoda was born into the Hosoda samurai family as Tokitomi Fujiwara-no-Jibukyo in 1756. Living in Edo, Eishi began his career in painting, studying first in the Kano school, then under Bunryusai. Employing the Kano style, Eishi became a court painter and high court official to the Shogun Ieharu Tokugawa. In fact, it was the shogun who bestowed the name Eishi on the artist. Around the age of thirty, Eishi left the court and began working as a ukiyo-e woodblock artist. Initially influenced by the Torii school, he soon found inspiration in Utamaro’s spellbinding beauties and began producing bijin-ga (pictures of beautiful women). In 1800, he left printmaking and returned to painting.


Defined by aristocratic elegance, Eishi Hosoda’s women appear tall, lean and graceful. It is said that his prints were so highly regarded in their time that even the imperial family sought to own them. His paintings are considered masterpieces of the art form.