Eishi (1756 - 1829)

An Exceptional Woman

Medium: Woodblock Print
Date: c. 1798
Size (H x W): 9.75 x 15.25 (inches)
Signature: Shunga are unsigned, therefore the artist is always attributed.
Condition: Very good impression, good color, light creasing.



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 Japanese 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 Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock print 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.