Here is a series of erotic pictures dating back to the Edo period, 18thcentury. Painted with ink and pigments on silk. Each image is exquisitely depicted throughout the year with some seasonal changes in the scene. The paintings bear a seal, which is relatively rare as artists usually remained anonymous when they executed Shunga pictures during Edo period. The seal is recognized as Shunsho school. The inscription on the cover reads “jyunikagetsu emaki ikkan” meaning twelve months painting album.
Katsukawa Shunsho(1726 – 1792) was a Japanese painter and printmaker in the ukiyo-e style and the leading artist of the Katsukawa school. Shunshō studied under Miyagawa Shunsui, son and student of Miyagawa Chōshun, both equally famous and talented ukiyo-e artists. Shunshō is most well known for introducing a new form of yakusha-e, prints depicting Kabuki actors. However, his bijinga (images of beautiful women) paintings, while less famous, are said by some scholars to be “the best in the second half of the 18th century”. Shunshō first came to Edo to study haiku and paintings. He became a noted printmaker of actors with his first works dating from 1760. Though originally a member of the Torii school, he soon broke away and began his own style, which would later be dubbed the Katsukawa school. Among his students were the famous ukiyo-e artists Shunchō, Shun’ei, and Hokusai.