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ookubi-e@G
KEY WORD :@art history / paintings
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Lit. large head depictions. A common type of *ukiyo-e G print created by artists to focus on an actor or a beautiful woman's head and upper body, usually a single human figure set against a plain background. Despite the term "head" kubi , as much as one-half of the figure (from just below the waist) including arms and hands engaged in some activity (such as assuming a pose, mie at a climatic moment in a *kabuki ̕ play or writing a letter) may be shown. Ookubi-e which focus in on the face (and shoulders) of a human figure are often called *oogao-e G. The close-up range of ookubi-e allowed the designer to emphasize particular facial features, expression, make-up or poses of favorite actors in popular roles or to capture a particularly feminine gesture. Precursors of the type can be found as early as some *Toriiha h actor prints *yakusha-e ҊG of 1716-36. Most agree that Katsukawa Shunshou t (1726-92) and his follower Shunkou tD (1743-1812) established the compositional style for actor prints by the early 1780's. From the last years of that decade Kitagawa Utamaro 쑽̖ (1753-1806), Choubunsai Eishi ։hV (1756-1829), Chouki (fl. late 18c), Utagawa Toyokuni ̐L (1769-1825) and others adopted the style for memorable depictions of beautiful women. From the 1790's onward, their work was complemented by the ookubi-e actor prints of Shun'ei tp (1762-1819) and preeminently Toushuusai Sharaku F֎ʊy (act. 1794), along with Toyokuni and Kunimasa (1733-1810) to make this the golden age of the type. Ookubi-e continued to be produced into the Meiji period, and today is considered by many today to be the most characteristic or instantly recognizable compositional format of ukiyo-e, especially its full-color prints *nishiki-e ъG.
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