The Gallery of UKIYO-E --Artists' Profiles-- The Adachi Institute of Woodcut Print

Gallery of Ukiyoe What's
Woodcut print?
Adachi Institue
How to Order E-mail Top Page Next Back

beauty index

bird&flower index

landscape index

actor index

artist index

artist profile index


Although unrelated to the Torii family, Kiyonaga became the fourth titular head of the Torii school after the sudden death of his teacher, Torii Kiyomitsu. Preserving the traditions of the school, Kiyonaga continued to produce actor prints, theatrical posters and other designs.

Kiyonaga's work reached maturity in the 1780's when he produced a series of masterpieces featuring beautiful women in landscape and settings. He was the artist who established the first perfect designs of full-length portraits of bijin (beautiful women), which had an important influence on later bijin-ga (the print of beauties) styles.

Kiyonaga's early compositions are of universally high artistic quality. In his later years, however, he was challenged by the rise of Utamaro, and his work declined in quality. Some consider his work to be rather static because of the lack of variety and the paucity of emotional expression.