Artist: Keisai Eisen (渓斎英泉)

Alternate names:
Ikeda Yoshinobu (family name - 池田義信)
Konsei (azana - 混声)
Zenjirō (nickname - 善次郎)
Teisuke (nickname - 呈介)
Hokugō (go - 北豪)
Hokutei (go - 北亭)
Ippitsuan (go - 一筆庵)
Kakō (go - 可候)
Kokushunrō (go - 国春楼)
Mumeiō (go - 無名翁)

Lifetime: 1790 - 1848

Related links:


"Born at Hoshigaoka in Edo, his father a samurai, Ikeda Masahei Shigeharu, a talented calligrapher. Lived in Owari-chō; Hamamatsu-chō; Nezu Shichiken-chō; Shitaya Ikenohata; and Nihonbashi Sakamoto-chō nichōme. After his parents died forced to become a rōnin to support his younger sisters. At one time a Kabuki playwright using the name Chiyoda Saishi, and about this time lodged with the family of Kikugawa Eizan and studied painting with Eizan's father, Eiji. Also worked as a brothel owner and seller of face powder in later years a prolific author of popular literature and also in 1833 compiled the manuscript Mumei-ō zuihitsu (Zoku ukiyo-e ruikō), a reworking of the biographies of Ukiyo-e artists. Studied with the minor Kanō painter Hakkeisai and with Kikukawa Eizan.

From the late Bunka era (1804-19) onwards many illustrations for the various genres of popular literature as well as surimono and a large output of single-sheet prints of women, including some fine bust portraits, exploring the world of the unlicensed pleasure quarters of Edo in his own rich, seductive style. Also many illustrations to erotic works. Contributed twenty-four designs in a Kanō-influenced style to the landscape series Kisokaidō rokujūkyū-tsugi ('Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaidō Highway', late 1830s) designed with Hiroshige. Eisen painted a relatively large number of hanging scrolls of beauties, sometimes with particularly large (half life-size) figures drawn so that they appear to get larger the higher up the body they are viewed, giving them very vivid presence. The eyes are set wide apart with particularly luxuriant lashes and the pupils always glancing off to one side, but otherwise the faces are not unlike those painted by Eizan."

Quoted from: Ukiyo-e Paintings in the British Museum by Timothy Clark, p. 196.