Born in 1786 in Honjo, Japan, Kunisada began producing prints as early as 1807 and continuously developed his style until his death in 1865. Toward the end of the Edo period in the 1850s and ‘60s, Kunisada, Hiroshige, and Kuniyoshi—all part of the Utagawa school of ukiyo-e—were three of the most widely renowned woodcut print artists in Japan at the time. Unfortunately, as the genre gained popularity among European and American collectors in the late 19th and early 20th century, all three came to be regarded as inferior to the earlier greats of classical ukiyo-e such as Katsushika Hokusai. Toward the middle of the 20th century however, both Hiroshige and Kuniyoshi’s works were re-evaluated by Western art historians, and soon became considered masters of their art. Though it wasn’t until the 1990s that Kunisada’s prints returned to the spotlight to take their rightful place in art history.
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