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Watanabe Seitei

Japanese, 1851-1918


Tokyo 1851

Occupation or Type

print designer



Watanabe Seitei (also pronounced Shōtei) was born in the heart of Edo, in the Kanda district. As a youth he apprenticed as a merchant, but when he proved to have no business sense, he studied painting with Kikuchi Yōsai, a renowned master of history painting. In 1876, he toured Europe to gain exposure to Western painting, and on his return won acclaim for his unique blend of closely observed nature and elegantly designed compositions.

Though Seitei's early artistic training was with Kikuchi Yōsai (1788-1878), a painter of historical genre scenes, he distinguished himself as a sensitive interpreter of nature and is best remembered for his pictures of flowers and birds. One of his paintings won an award at the 1878 Exposition Universelle in Paris, which encouraged him to travel there; he stayed on for three years, studying Western watercolor technique. His paintings reveal a close examination of nature and a delicacy of brushwork.



Related People

Student of: Yôsai Kikuchi (Japanese, 1788-1878)

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