Eisen Keisai, Atagoyama, Eastern Capital


Artist: Eisen Keisai (1790-1848)
Title: Atagoyama in the Eastern Capital
Publisher: Moriya Jihei
Date: c. 1840
Dimensions: 37.6 x 25.4 cm

Original Japanese woodblock print.

Unique to Eisen's oeuvre and often overlooked for his beauty prints, landscapes comprise of some of the artists most visually striking and original works. The town life of Edo is treated almost impressionistically, the movement of the seaside rendered in only a few minute strokes. Eisen focuses rather on capturing the overall temporal mood, with the distant white sails standing out against the sunset captured by the use of bokashi gradation. Onlookers gaze at the bay from a raised stilted viewing hut as the day draws to a close, summarising this idyllic scene.

Eisen Keisai (1790 - 1848)

Keisai Eisen was an artist, who alongside Kunisada I (Toyokuni III), was renowned for his beauty prints, depicting courtesans and geisha in everyday life, sometimes touching on the erotic in nature. Despite his devotion to the genre he also produced noteworthy landscape prints such as the ‘Eight Views of Edo’ (‘Edo Hakkei’) series, occasionally collaborating with Hiroshige I. Eisen is also known for his development of aizuri-e, which is a term that describes ukiyo-e that is printed only in shades of blue. This technique was popular in the 1830s and 1840s and has been employed by various artists, including Hokusai. He began an apprenticeship in art early on in life, studying with the Kano painter Hakkeisai. He later was looked after by Kikugawa Eiji and became known as a pupil of Eiji’s son, Kikugawa Eizan, who was his contemporary, through curious circumstances. The feudal lord of the Hishu province wanted to own all prints produced by Kikugawa Eizan’s students and received a collection of them, in which Keisai Eisen’s prints were included. Thereafter, Eisen was then considered to be Eizan’s student, too.

More Information
Print FormatOban (Horizontal)
ArtistEisen Keisai (1790 - 1848)
Size37.6 x 25.4 cm
Condition ReportLight brown stains on top right. Small mark of red pigment on centre left.
publisherMoriya Jihei:1797-1886