Okumura Masanobu (奥村政信) (Biographical details)

Okumura Masanobu (奥村政信) (printmaker; painter/draughtsman; Japanese; Male; 1686 - 1764; ?)

Also known as

Okumura Masanobu; Hogetsudo (art name); 芳月堂; Tanchosai (art name); 丹鳥齋; Bunkaku (art name); 文角; Baio (art name); Shimmyo (art name); Shinmyo (alternative writing); Genpachi (common name); Gempachi (common name, alternative writing)


Painter and print-artist; designed hundreds of 'parody pictures' (mitate-e) in the early 18th century. A leading figure in the 'pre-nishikie' (full colour print) period, Masanobu established his own school, building on the styles of Hishikawa Moronobu and Torii Kiyonobu. In his early years he was also influenced by the illustrated books of the Kyoto artist Nishikawa Sukenobu. He had a very high opinion of his own talents and continued to study and foster new developments in 'Ukiyo-e' throughout his career. Perhaps because he was also the proprietor of a publishing house, the Okumuraya in Torishio-cho, he made many experiments with new formats and techniques for woodblock prints. In particular he may have originated pillar prints (hashirae) and perspective prints (ukie). His wide-ranging activities included prints of beauties, actors, birds and flowers, warriors, etc.; also many paintings and woodblock printed books. His prints of beauties in the 'tan-e' technique are full and rounded, and have a quality of gentleness which eschews too much vigour.