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Reference » Ukiyo-e »  Artists Biographies

Seitei Watanabe 1851-1918

Seitei Watanabe is best known today for his delicate paintings and prints of birds and flowers. He was originally known as Yoshikawa Yoshimata and was born in Edo (now Tokyo), 1851. He began his career as a young artist under the tutelage of the well known painter, Kikuchi Yosai. Around 1890, Seitei began designing woodblock prints, completing his first album of his well known bird and flower prints in 1891. Seiteifs designs combine graceful calligraphic lines with delicate details and shading. His simple compositions are dynamically asymmetrical with an abundance of negative space. His work in bird and flower genre was an important influence on the early shin hanga movement, especially on the artists Mizuno Toshikata and Kaburagi Kiyokata. Two years before his death, Seitei completed his third and final album of 22 prints, called the Album of bird-and-flower by Seitei. These prints are considered to be his finest.