Buncho (fl.1765 - 1792 )

Buncho Ippitsusai  was an early ukiyo-e artist and painter known for his yakusha-e or "actor prints." Little is known about the artist's early life, though scholars suggest that he studied Kano school painting under Yukimoto Ishikawa. Along with the artist Shunsho Katsukawa, Buncho is credited with directing the yakusha-e genre away from stock faces to more realistic depictions of the actors portrayed. In 1770, Buncho collaborated with Shunsho to complete Picture Book of Stage Fans, a three volume illustrated book set presenting stage celebrities of the day. This collection of actor portraiture is a pivotal book in the history of ukiyo-e. Buncho also produced bijin-ga, or "pictures of beautiful women." While influenced by Harunobu’s ethereal beauties, Buncho struck a balance of idealism and realism in his beauties. He produced many works in the narrow hosoban print format. 

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