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Major Japanese Print Artists
Yumeji Takehisa  (1884-1934)

Yumeji Takehisa was a Japanese poet, painter and one of the leading exponents of the Taisho period (1912-1926). He reached an outstanding popularity in Japan and abroad.
At the age of 19, while studying at the University of Waseda, he began painting portraits to supplement his allowance. In 1907, he married and divorced two years later, Tamaki Kishi, who ran an art supplies store nearby the university. Tamaki became a model for his early portraits. He turned to bijin-ga, a type of Japanese art which is about beautiful women. Many women of whom Yumeji Takehisa fell in love posed for him and became his lovers.
In 1923 his further career was brought to a halt by the great Kanto earthquake. Takehisa had to restart from the beginning. He worked very hard and at last in 1931 he was able to make a journey to the U.S., Germany and Italy in order to expose his work.
Influenced by US and Europe, his compositions turned to a more Western Art Style (expressionism, abstraction and simplification) out of which a new style developed: Taisho romanticism. He filled the decorative element of this style with a melancholic, poetic atmosphere which formed a beautiful harmony. He elongated lines and favoured wobblier curves and more graduations and shading.
The minimalistic, sometimes naive compositions made Yumeji Takehisa one of the most popular artists in Japan of his time. Yumeji become so famous for his distinct style that his works became known as Yumeji-style Ladies which key points are the tiny pouted lips, the large doe-eyes and the overall flushed look.

Some Prints by Yumeji Takehisa   Online