Woodblock print; ink and color on paper. from the series: Twenty-four Children's Games (Konodo Fuzoku). Woodblock print; ink and color on paper. Left side of print has been trimmed. "As little as fifty years ago the trend with collectors of Japanese art was to reject the woodcuts of the Meiji era (1868-1912) as being garish and unrefined. To be sure, the introduction of Western pigments and artistic styles (c. 1865) had created a dynamic change in Japanese art. Bold new colour patterns and equally revolutionary design concepts began to influence the art of the woodcut. Far from ruining traditional art forms, however, Meiji artists injected a vitality into the woodcut by amalgamating Japanese and Western forms. The great masters of this era -- Yoshitoshi, Chikanobu, Ginko, Miyagawa Shuntei and others -- thus created a number of beautiful images and contemporary scholarship now favourably compares their works with the art of earlier nineteenth century woodcut artists. The Tokyo artist, Miyagawa Shuntei, produced his finest work at the end of the nineteenth century. His two greatest series of woodcuts, Pictures of Customs and Flowers of the World of Pleasure, were both published in Tokyo in 1897. Shuntei's finest art was in the genre of bijin-ga (beautiful women); portrayals of beautiful women. In this regard, he is often regarded by scholars as a precursor to the woodcuts of the following generation of famous Shin hanga (new print) artists such as Goyo, Shinsui and (most notably) Kotondo." He was born in Aichi prefecture. Much like the rest of his generation of print artists, Shuntei worked as a book and newspaper illustrator. He is best known for his genre print subjects of women and children playing.