Kawanabe Kyosai was a renowned Japanese artist known for his dark paintings. View some of his commissioned works after the break.
Kawanabe Kyosai was popular for being a political caricaturist during the Meiji period in Japan. Apart from his political works, he also chose to create artworks of popular folklore beings from his home country – making him known as a painter who made weird and obscure creations. He also gained popularity in the Western world. For one project, he was commissioned by William Anderson, a Scotsman and a Japanese art collector, to create comical paintings. For the series, Kawanabe Kyosai decided to paint how he depicted the underworld.
In his paintings, he included mythical beings and other worldly creatures amidst chaos. His artworks art now part of a collection housed at the British Museum. His artworks are considered to have the traditional Japanese style of painting and he is described as “the last virtuoso in traditional Japanese painting”. He was reportedly interested in Western art but didn’t try to emulate the style and remained true to his roots as a Japanese artist. Because of his contributions in Japanese art culture, a memorial museum in his name was established in Japan in 1977.
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