Kunisada II (二代国貞, 1823 - 1880) was the leading student of Kunisada (Toyokuni III). His early work is signed Baido Kunimasa III. In 1846, he married his master’s eldest daughter and began signing his prints Kunisada II. He again changed his name to Toyokuni IV after his master’s death in 1864. Frequently using bright or even lurid aniline colors, Kunisada II’s prints represent the exaggerated style of late ukiyo-e.Kunisada II is best known for his prints of beautiful women and historical subjects. His most famous and collected series is The Tale of Genji.
An artist should use freely whatever materials he pleases. In the case of the woodblock print, he simply goes one step further and employs a block instead of a brush... - Watanabe Shozaburo, 1916