Ishikawa Shuha Toyonobu
Ishikawa Toyonobu, a Japanese print artist active in Edo, is thought to have been a member of a vassal family of the Hojo clan. In 1744, he married into an innkeeping business, the management of which he assumed in 1757, thus bringing his career as an artist to an end.
Toyonobu studied under Nishimura Shigenaga, to whom he is no less indebted than to Okumura Masanobu. Before the advent of the polychrome print, he worked as a painter of bijin-ga.
Publication of Toyonobu’s prints started in 1731; they are characterized by an elegant line and technical perfection. Love scenes, courtesan portraits, actors and puppeteers constitute his motifs. His depiction of well-rounded female forms influenced Ha-runobu, while the ostentatious indifference of his sitters is reminiscent of the Kaigetsudo school. Like Shigenaga, he experimented with the depiction of the naked body, a thoroughly unerotic attempt to challenge the dominance of the kimono in the portrayal of feminine beauty.