Isoda Koryusai Japanese Woodblock Print
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Lot 0118 Details
18th century Japanese woodblock on laid cotton rag paper depicting an interior domestic scene; with matting; signed to UR and LR and stamp signed to LL; measures approximately 10-1/2" x 7-1/2"; in good overall condition but faded. Isoda Koryusai (1735–1790) was a Japanese ukiyo-e printmaker and painter active from 1769 to 1790. Koryusai was born in 1735 and worked as a samurai in the service of the Tsuchiya clan. He became a masterless ronin after the death of the head of the clan and moved to Edo (modern Tokyo) where he settled near Ryogoku Bridge in the Yagenbori area. He became a print designer there under the art name Haruhiro in 1769, at first making samurai-themed designs. The ukiyo-e print master Harunobu died in 1770, and about that time Koryusai began making prints in a similar style of life in the pleasure districts. Koryusai was a prolific designer of individual prints and print series in the 1770s. The series Models for Fashion: New Designs as Fresh Young Leaves (Hinagata wakana no hatsumoyo, 1776–81) ran for 140 prints, the longest ukiyo-e print series of beauties known. He designed at least 350 hashira-e pillar prints, numerous kacho-e birds-and-flowers prints, a great number of shunga erotic prints, and others. In 1782 Koryusai applied for and received the Buddhist honour hokkyo ("Bridge of the Law"), and thereafter used the title as part of his signature. His output slowed from this time, though he continued to design prints until his death in 1790.