Japan art and Ryuryukyo Shinsai: Insight into wealthy Edo homes

Japan art and Ryuryukyo Shinsai: Insight into wealthy Edo homes

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The Japanese artist Ryuryukyo Shinsai lived in Tokyo during the Edo Period. He is famous for his surimono prints. However, in this article, the surimono angle will be utilized by seeing a glimpse into the homes of the literati and educated classes.

Shinsai initially studied under Sori Tawaraya. This was followed by learning from the highly acclaimed Hokusai. Accordingly, Shinsai developed his skills under the guidance of great teachers.

The British Museum says, “In the early 1800s, following Hokusai, he became one of the most prolific designers of ‘surimono’, particularly of still-life subjects such as in the ‘Kasen-awase’ series of 1809. After the mid-1810s his ‘surimono’ were almost exclusively in the square format. He is also known for two series of accomplished landscapes in Western-influenced style and a small number of paintings of beautiful women, in both genres again following the lead of Hokusai.”

In these art pieces by Shinsai – you can get a glimpse into the world of the literati, educated elites, and wealthy families of the Edo Period. The craftsmanship concerning refinement, skills, and style also speaks volumes culturally.

In the one art piece of the elegant lady at home. It is easy to imagine her world – and the world of her family and friends related to culture, the literati, and high society.

The art of Shinsai is of extreme quality. His popularity reached its zenith in the late eighteenth century to the early 1820s.

Shinsai did other art forms – from beautiful ladies to landscapes.

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