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Buncho (fl. 1765 - 1792)

Kabuki Actor Ichikawa Hisazo

Series: Ehon Butai Ogi; Picture Book of the Stage in Fan Shapes
Medium: Woodblock Print
Date: 1770
Size (H x W): 9.5 x 6 (inches)
Publisher: Kariganeya Ihei
Seals: Buncho
Condition: Very good color, impression, small hole under nose, soiling bottom edge


About the artist

Buncho Ippitsusai was an early ukiyo-e woodblock print 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.