Dating japanese prints
No evidence aside from proximity in time has established a connection with the artist Sharaku.Rare calendar prints from 17 that bear the pseudonym "Sharakusai" have surfaced; that they may have been by Sharaku has not been dismissed, but they bear little obvious stylistic resemblance to Sharaku's identified work.Sharaku did not, which likely contributed to his failure to find a sufficient audience to succeed.Nonetheless, from the first Sharaku's prints appeared amongst the technical vanguard, with unusually realistic portrayals of their subjects and using extravagant techniques such as the dusting of mica in the backgrounds.
His work has come to be considered some of the greatest in the ukiyo-e genre.
Alongside paintings, mass-produced woodblock prints were a major form of the genre.
Ukiyo-e art was aimed at the merchants at the bottom of the social scale, especially of the administrative capital of Edo (modern Tokyo).
Hillier compares Sharaku to French painter Paul Cézanne, who he believes "has to struggle to express himself, hampered and angered by the limitations of his draughtsmanship".
A book on haiku theory and aesthetics from 1776 includes two poems attributed to a Sharaku, and references to a Nara poet by the same name appear in a 1776 manuscript and a 1794 poetry collection.
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These prints are ōkubi yakusha-e against black mica backgrounds, made with a precise, fine line and simple colour scheme.