Ikeda Keisai Eisen

Japanese , 1790 - 1848

Japanese painter and woodblock-print designer, Ikeda Eisen was born in 1790 in Edo, which is now Tokyo. He studied with Kano Hakkeisei and the Kano-style painter Kikukawa Eiji. Eisen specialized in “bijinga”, pictures of beautiful women and “shunga”, erotic pictures. His style around this time (1821), is characterized by straight lines which vary in thickness and sharp, angular lines and fine details.

Eisen’s works of the later 1820s employed Western-style techniques, such as the employment of fine, parallel lines for shading. During this time, Eisen began using a technique called “aizurie” or “blue- printed pictures” to design landscapes and courtesan prints. One of his major works, commonly referred to as “Beautiful Women of the Tokaido”, featured full-length female figures in the foreground and landscape backgrounds.
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