Kunichika Biography

Kunichika1 (1835-1900). N.: Toyohara (originally Ara-kawa.  Ukiyo-e printmaker. Born in Edo. Pupil first of Toyohara Chikanobu (whose name he took), then of Utagawa Kunisada (among the few of Kunisada's pupils who did not use the name of Utagawa). Produced prints of actors, sets of views, historical subjects, journalistic illustrations in the late Kunisada tradition, which reflect the declining taste of the public and the worsening color printing. Particularly known for some late okubi-e. A minor artist, but represents the last of the great ukiyo-e tradition. Coll.: Ashmolean; Baltimore; British; Cincinnati; Fine (California, De Young); Musee (1), (2); Musees; Newark; Riccar; Tokyo (1); Victoria; Waseda  
Source:  Laurance P. Roberts, Dictionary of Japanese Artists.    
The above biography reflects the author, Laurance Roberts preference for classical Ukiyo-e.  Articles such as the above and others by early western authors managed to put this artist in the dustbin of art history.  Nevertheless, Kunichika, the last master of Edo printmaking has recently experienced renewed popularity thanks to authors such as Amy Riegle Newland..  Kunichika is subject of a recent monograph "Time Past and Present, Images of a Forgotten Master" and an interesting article recounting an interview with the artist, published in the JASA Journal "Impressions".   While many of his prints are masterful, they are, for the most part very affordable for the beginning collector.