About the artist
Koryusai Isoda was born into the samurai class as Masakatsu Isoda. His family served the daimyo (regional lord) of Tsuchiya, yet Koryusai abandoned this life to move to Edo. He became a ronin (a samurai without a master) and commenced his artistic career. Training first as a Kano painter, Koryusai changed his course to printmaking during the mid-1760s. While cited as the pupil of Shigenaga, Koryusai’s early prints, signed Haruhiro, suggest the tutelage of Harunobu. Koryusai Isoda was a prolific artist, completing illustrations and single-sheet prints alike. In 1776, he released Models for Fashion, one of his most important series. He is known for his coveted kacho-e (bird-and-flower pictures), bijin-ga (pictures of beautiful women), hashira-e (pillar prints), and the strong use of orange in his prints. After 1780, Koryusai revived his early Kano training and produced ishizuri-e (stone-printed pictures). Soon after this transition, the emperor bestowed Koryusai with the prestigious epithet of “Hokkyo,” a high honor at the time. Furthermore, Koryusai was one of the first ukiyo-e artists to use the oban format for prints (approximately 14 x 10 in). This size allowed larger compositions and soon became the standard size for ukiyo-e.