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Artist: Yashima Gakutei (八島岳亭)

Alternate names:
Gakuzan ( - 岳山)
Gogaku ( - 五岳)
Hōkyō (nickname - 鳳卿)
Ichirō ( - 一老)
Kaguradō ( - 神楽堂)
Kōen ( - 黄園)
Nanzan ( - 南山)
Ryōsa ( - 梁左)
Sadaoka (later family name - 定岡)
Shingakudō ( - 神岳堂)
Shinkadō ( - 神歌堂)
Sugawara (original family name - 菅原)
Yōsai ( - 陽斎)
Yotei ( - 陽亭)
Gakutei Gogaku ( - 岳亭五岳)
Yashima Harunobu (family name - 八島春信)
Maruya Onokichi (nickname - 丸屋斧吉)
Horikawa Tarō ( - used as an author 堀川多楼)

Lifetime: 1786 - 1868

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Biography:

"Gakutei was the illegitimate son of a samurai, named Hirata, in the service of the military government. After is birth his mother married into the Yashima clan. He is said to have begun his studies with the painter Tsutsumi Shūei and to have continued with the surimono designer Hokkei, but there is no visible evidence of a relationship with either artist in his published work. He was an accomplished kyōka poet, studying first with Mado no Muratake and later with Rokujuen. His first dated work was a book of popular fiction Modorikago mata no aigata, 'The Returning Palanquin: Meeting Again', which he wrote and illustrated. This appeared in 1815, around the time his first commercial prints were published. Once he began to design surimono and illustrations for poetry anthologies, however, he produced very little commercial work. His first surimono, commissioned by Muratake and carrying Gakutei's own verse, appeared in 1816; they were signed Harunobu. From 1817, he began signing his prints Gakutei, and until 1819 he used a characteristically broad signature with a distinctive hook at the bottom of the last character. Around 1819 he began to design large sets of surimono, first for the Honchō group and then for the Katsushika circle of poets. Around 1821 he began to fill the background of these prints with bold geometric patterns printed in pale colours; by 1824 he had created a style unlike that of any other print designer, in which he completely filled the picture surface with colour and printed patterns over one another with moiré-like effect. After 1824 Gakutei began to draw larger figures with broader patterns and simpler shapes; the boldest of these prints seem to have been designed and published around 1827 and 1828. About that time he moved to Ōsaka, where he designed a series of landscape prints Naniwa meisho tempōzan shōkei ichiran, 'A Set of Views of Mt Tempō, a Famous Site in Ōsaka', which were published in 1834. He continued to contribute illustrations to poety anthologies until 1845 and in 1852 contributed an illustration to Chaban imayō fūryū, 'Modern Elegant Teahouse Comedies', a book with illustrations by Kunishige, an Ōsaka artist. This seems to be Gakutei's last work."

Quoted from: The Art of Surimono: Privately Published Japanese Woodblock Prints in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin by Roger Keyes, p. 71