machi-eshi 町絵師
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Painters born during the period extending from the Nanbokuchou through the Muromachi periods, when major social changes took place. Up to the Nanbokuchou period, artists were attached to the court, to the shogunate, or to various temples. But social and economic upheaval cut many artists off from the patronage of men of influence, and painters were forced to migrate to cities like Sakai 堺 and earn their livelihoods by selling their paintings to townspeople. They painted many illustrated books of fairy tales *otogi zoushi 御伽草子 and genre paintings *fuuzokuga 風俗画, and in the Edo period, produced designs for woodblock prints *ukiyo-e 浮世絵. The machi-eshi were treated with scorn by members of the Tosa school *Tosaha 土佐派 (in charge of the painting bureau at court) and Kanou school *Kanouha 狩野派 (official painters of the shogunate), but they not only greatly contributed to the diffusion of culture among the townspeople, but also performed an important role in the development of modern painting.


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