“Winter Landscape”, woodblock print. (Open Access image, courtesy Met Museum, JP554.)
Welcome back to winter in art with this beautiful and serene landscape by Japanese artist Keisai Eisen (1790-1848).
Eisen was a ukiyo-e artist: a period of art from the late seventeenth to late nineteenth centuries that showed contemporary affairs and fashions. It was full of romance, vitality and hedonism, and showed the transitory nature of modern life.
Though this winter landscape is very different, Eisen was known for bijinga, his prints of beautiful women, and was often titled ‘the decadent’. He was a larger than life character and could mostly be found drunk in brothels and later owned one of his own.
Vincent Van Gogh was a real fan of Eisen’s work and acquired lots of his woodcuts.