Eisen (1790 - 1848 )

Born to the well-known calligrapher Shigeharu, Eisen worked as a painter, printmaker and illustrator in Edo during the 19th century. As a young man, he studied Kano painting with Hakkeisai before pursuing illustration and printmaking under Eizan. It is said that Eisen was a brothel owner and held the reputation of a debaucher and a man of questionable personal conduct. Though he completed masterful nature studies and landscapes, he is best known for his beautiful women. In addition to his artistic oeuvre, Eisen authored Zoku Ukiyo-e Ruiko, an edited account of the history of ukiyo-e.


As ukiyo-e achieved an unprecedented popularity in the 1800s, bijin (beautiful women) were the stars of this period. Eisen’s beauties present a particular type of femininity: willful, self-assertive, voluptuous and vivacious. Balancing bold compositions with intricate kimono designs, Eisen’s bijin-ga offer a quiet sensuality.

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Hakkencho: By the Mirror

Eisen

Hakkencho: By the Mirror

JP-111796

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Night Stroll by Plum Blossoms

Eisen

Night Stroll by Plum Blossoms

JPR-209140

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Evening Glow at Naka-no-cho: Yoyoyama of the House of Matsubaya

Eisen

Evening Glow at Naka-no-cho: Yoyoyama of the House of Matsubaya

JPR-209120

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Pine

Eisen

Pine

JPR-209091

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A Family: Father, Mother, and Child

Eisen

A Family: Father, Mother, and Child

JP3633

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Love on a Rainy Spring Day: Musashino

Eisen

Love on a Rainy Spring Day: Musashino

JP1341

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Children Picking Chestnuts

Eisen

Children Picking Chestnuts

JPR-103976

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Hodogaya: Courtesan Hanamurasaki from Tamaya

Eisen

Hodogaya: Courtesan Hanamurasaki from Tamaya

JPR-85364

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