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Rakusan, Tsuchiya

Tsuchiya Rakusan (1896 – 1976) focused on capturing  the natural world through lush compositions, rich color and sparkling embellishments. Originally trained as a painter, Rakusan gained renown as a woodblock print artist through his self-published kacho-e, or bird and flower prints. Born in Hyogo prefecture, Rakusan worked in Kyoto. In 1913, he became the pupil of the influential painter Seiho Takeuchi. During 1920s through 1950s, Rakusan built a successful career as a print artist. He produced his most successful series, “Rakusan Kacho Gafu” (Rakusan Flower and Bird Series), between 1929 and 1933. Based on paintings he had completed between 1925 and 1929, the 100 large-scale woodblock prints proved so popular that many designs remained in print until his studio closed in 1955.

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