Itō Shinsui

The artist Itō Shinsui was only about 20 years old when he designed the landscape series Eight Views of Ōmi. He learned his artistic skill at a young age; after his father’s business failed when Shinsui was 12, he had to quit school and was apprenticed to the Tokyo Printing Company. At the age of 16, he was discovered by Watanabe Shōzaburō, an influential ukiyo-e publisher who helped expand the careers of many Japanese artists in the early twentieth century. One of Shinsui’s earliest artistic successes, Eight Views of Ōmi, depicts various views of a province in central Japan. The series is based on a long-standing and popular artistic tradition of portraying a number of beautiful or significant scenes from a particular city or region in art, poetry, and literature.