Shunman (1757 - 1820)

Sage and Tiger

Medium: Woodblock Print
Date: Mid/Late Edo Period
Size (H x W): 7 x 8 (inches)
Signature: Unsigned, artist attributed
Condition: Good color and impression, vertical crease, light soiling and wear, black backing around edges, embellished with embossing, silver and metallic pigments.


About the artist

Shunman Kubo was an ukiyo-e artist and author of the Edo Period. Born as Yasubei Kubo (or Kubota) in 1757, Shunman was orphaned as a child. He became a student of poetry under Nahiko Katori before turning to ukiyo-e under Shigemasa Kitao. Throughout his career, Shunman produced many paintings, prints, illustrations, and poems, all published under a variety of different pseudonyms. During the last two decades of the 18th century, he produced some prints in the beni-girai trend, shunning vivid colors for a more muted palette. Shuman’s passion for the art of verse and art of print intertwined, particularly later in his career. In the 1790s, Shunman turned away from commercial ukiyo-e to focus on surimono, deluxe, privately-commissioned prints, which were often commissioned by poetry groups. It is also said that he provided poetry for compositions by Utamaro, Eishi, and Hokusai. Today, his works can be found in collections such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.