Matsumura Tatsuemon (松村辰右衛門) (publisher ca 1793 – 1832)

Matsu (seal name - 松)



Edo print publisher (Marks 311). Artists published by this house include Eisen, Kunimaru, Kunimasu, Kunisada, Kuniyasu, Sadafusa, Sadahide, Sadakage, Toyokuni I, Toyokuni II and Utamaro.

[Artists in the Lyon Collection who have been published by this house have their name highlighted in bold type.]


"Matsumura Tatsuemon started in the publishing business around 1793. He first produced predominantly beauty prints by Utamaro, among them a few mainly untitled, series. Utamaro's portraits that were published by Matsumura are either in full-length or large-head close-ups, serving the vogue of that time.

Since the middle 1790s he began also to issue actor prints and really concentrated on this field in the 1810s when he became one of the most active publishers in this field. At first, Utamaro designed actor prints for him, and then Matsumura engaged Toyokuni. Toyokuni's prints are mainly portraits of actors in full-length but he occasionally also did large-head close-ups like the portrait of Ichikawa Omezō I (1781-1833) as Otomo Kuronushi from 1803. In the 1810s, the output of actor prints increased significantly... During that time Toyokuni was no longer Matsumura's foremost commissioned artist but his disciple Kunisada gained that position. Kunisada alone furnished Matsumura with several hundred, sometimes dramatic, designs. In the 1820s, Matsumrua began to produce some actor portraits by lesser known artists, especially by disciples of Kunisada like Sadafusa, Sadahide, and Sadakage. Matsumura continued to produce beauty prints and after Utamaro passed away, commissioned other artists like Kunimaru, Kunisada, and Kuniyasu. With Kunisada, Matsumura returned to large-head portraits like the ones he had issued by Utamaro in the 1790d. Around 1826-28 they did two series, "Modern Views of Spring" (Tōsei haru keshiki) and "Modern Views of Summer" (Tōsei natsu keshiki).

In mid 1832, Matsumura seems to have closed his publishing business. The last prints known illustrate kabuki performance staged in the fifth month of that year. The reason for the closure is not known."

Quoted from Japanese Woodblock Prints: Artists, Publishers and Masterworks 1680-1900 by Andreas Marks, p. 218.