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Bairei Kono, also known as Bairei Yasuda, is famous for his bird and flower prints, as well as landscapes influenced by Western realism. He was born in Kyoto and worked as a painter, book illustrator and art teacher throughout his life. One of his most well-known works is the ‘Album of One Hundred Birds’, released in 1881, in which pairs of birds and flowers are shown throughout the seasons. This series of prints was often bound into a set of two or four separate volumes. A second edition was posthumously published in 1899.
Before opening his own school in 1880, Bairei studied in the Maruyama school, led by the painter Nakajima Raisho (1796-1871), until his teacher’s death. Thereafter, he continued his studies in the Shijo-school under
Shiokawa Bunrin (1808-1877). Bairei’s own pupils included Takeuchi Seiho, Uemura Shoen and Kawai Gyokudo.