Natori, Shunsen (1886 - 1960 )

Shunsen Natori (né Yoshinosuke Natori) was the son of a Tokyo silk merchant. Shunsen took an early interest in art. He studied nihonga (Japanese-style painting) under Beisen Kubota and participated in his first exhibition in 1906. Shunsen then entered Tokyo School of Fine Arts and began working as an illustrator for the newspaper Asahi Shimbun, where he became interested in kabuki portraiture. In 1916, Shunsen collaborated with Shozaburo Watanabe on two kabuki prints. By 1919, Shunsen Natori retired from nihonga and became a prominent woodblock print artist in the actor print genre. His work is known for its vibrant emotion, most readily apparent in his portraits. Following the tragic passing of his daughter Yoshiko in 1958, Shunsen and his wife, unable to get over her death, committed suicide in 1960.

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