Saturday, March 2, 2013

Suzuki, Harunobu

Couple under an umbrella in the snow (crow and heron)
color woodcut print
Library of Congress, Japan

Suzuki Harunobu (1725? – 1770) was a Japanese woodblock print artist, one of the most famous in the Ukiyo-e style.
He was an innovator, the first to produce full-color prints (nishiki-e), rendering obsolete the former modes of two-and three-color prints. Harunobu used many special techniques, and depicted a wide variety of subjects, from classical poems to contemporary beauties. His motifs were primarily standing female figures in a tranquil atmosphere. He presents ladies of the demimonde, middle-class women going about their everyday tasks, and women in mythological scenes, all executed in elegant colour and well-differentiated technique. Much about Harunobu's life is unknown.