Utagawa Toyokuni I (歌川豊国) (Biographical details)

Utagawa Toyokuni I (歌川豊国) (printmaker; Japanese; Male; 1769 - 1825)

Also known as

Utagawa Toyokuni I (art name); Ichiyosai (一陽斎); Kurahashi (family name); Kumakichi (personal name); Kumayoshi (personal name alternative reading); Toyokuni I

Biography

Print artist. The artist who led the Utagawa School, the most prolific and influential school of the late Edo period, Toyokuni rose to prominence in 'Ukiyo-e' circles with the success of his 'Portraits of Actors on Stage' series, issued from 1794 onwards. His elegantly flowing line and cheerful colour schemes produced a lively and vivid sense of realism which established the direction for subsequent developments in actor portraiture. He was also adept at paintings and prints of women, but increasingly in the nineteenth century Toyokuni's work in both genres became more coarse and stultified.