Katsukawa Shunshō (Japanese 1726-1792)

As the leading artist of the Katsukawa school of ukiyo-e printmaking during his lifetime, Katsumiyagawa Yūsuke adopted the name of the studio as his surname to become Katsukawa Shunshō. While it was only one of the art-names (or gō) that he took in his lifetime, it is the one by which he is best known today. Shunshō covered a wide variety of subjects in his paintings and prints, but became most famous for pioneering yakusha-e (or “actor prints”), which depicted kabuki actors in costume or mid-performance. While we don’t possess any of his actor portraits in our collection, we have some done by later artists who show the evolution of the style (see The Utagawa School).