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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, followed by Bunryusai. Employing the Kano style, Eishi became a court painter and high court official to the Tokugawa Shogun Ieharu. 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 in ukiyo-e woodblocks. 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’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 Japanese ukiyo-e school.
When I judge art, I take my painting and put it next to a God made object like a tree or flower. If it clashes, it is not art - Paul Cezanne