From September 15-19, Sebastian Izzard LLC presented Keisai Eisen: Seven Paintings, an exhibition devoted to the art of this Ukiyo-e School artist who dominated the market for beauty prints and paintings in the second through fourth decades of the 19th century. Assembled by the gallery over an eleven year period, this was the first time such a large number of this artist's work had been presented in an exhibition of this kind. Eisen's paintings are relatively rare, and only a few examples have made their way to collections in the West. It was therefore particularly gratifying to be able to focus exclusively on Eisen's art in this exhibition.
Eisen, the son of a samurai, made his way in the demi-monde of Edo (present-day Tokyo) as a writer, painter, and print maker. His work provides a vivid picture of the world of fashion, style, and pleasurable pursuits in the last decades of pre-industrial Japan. His subjects include courtesans, geisha, and actors, all of which are represented in the exhibition. Prints and illustrated books by Eisen rounded out the show. A fully illustrated catalogue discussing Eisen and his milieu in depth is available.