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The nineteenth-century Japanese artist Kawanabe Kyōsai was celebrated for his exciting impromptu performances at calligraphy and painting parties. Dynamic, playful and provocative, Kyōsai delighted his audience with spontaneous and speedy paintings of demons, skeletons, deities and Buddhist saints. These were often satirical, reflecting a time of political and cultural change in Japan. Among his most charming and inventive works are his brilliant depictions of animals, which humorously play the roles of protagonists of modern life.

Kyōsai’s important place in Japanese art is here explored in depth by Sadamura Koto, a leading authority on the artist, in this catalogue of the exceptionally rich holdings of the Israel Goldman Collection.

Known for his independent spirit, Kawanabe Kyōsai is among Japan’s most important master painters. Witty, energetic and imaginative, his art continues to influence numerous artistic styles today, from manga to tattoo art.

Overlooked for decades, particularly compared to his earlier counterparts, Hokusai and Hiroshige, Kyōsai is now celebrated for his ability to bridge popular culture and traditional art. Having initially studied under ukiyo-e artist Kuniyoshi, he combined his subsequent academic training to create his own revolutionary style, creating images from the terrifying and awe-inspiring, to the sweet and endearing.

Dimensions 30 x 1.5 x 25.2cm
Fabric & material Hardback
No. of Pages 192

the Royal Academy.

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