MOV File
Online Collections

Torii Kiyonaga

Japanese, 1752-1815

Occupation or Type



Kiyonaga is lauded by Japanese and Western scholars and collectors of ukiyo-e as the leading master of bijin ga (pictures of beauties) during the early 1780s, but he also excelled at actor prints, having been trained by Torii Kiyomitsu.

Torii Kiyonaga produced numerous actor prints during the 1780s, a time when facial likeness had become and expected element in the depiction of stage stars. While Katsukawa school artists concentrated on the dramatic moments during which actors posed in mie, as though freezing the action, Kiyonaga took up the challenge of portraying actors in dance scenes (shosagoto), when they shared the stage with the musical accompaniment. Called degatari, these interludes moved the story forward through chanted narration as the performers mimed their characters' actions. Between 1782 and 1789, Kiyonaga designed at least thirty-four such scenes.



Related People

Student of: Torii Kiyomitsu (Japanese, 1735-1785)

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