Kobayashi Eitaku 小林永濯 (1843-1890)
Sources: A Dictionary of Japanese Artists: Painting, Sculpture, Ceramics, Prints, Lacquer, Laurance P. Roberts, Weatherhill, 1976, p. 23; Courage and Silence: A Study of the Life and Color Woodblock Prints of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi: 1839-1892, Roger Keyes, 1982; The British Museum web site and as footnoted.
Given Name: Kobayashi Tokusen 小林 徳宣
Familiar Name: Hidejirō (Shujirō) 秀次郎
Gō: Eitaku 永濯, Issensai ー鮮斎, Sensai 鮮斎, Kadō 霞堂, Baikadō 梅花堂, Mugyo 夢魚
A painter, illustrator and print designer, Eitaku was the third son of Miura Kichisaburō, a fishmonger at Nihombashi Uogashi. He became the adopted son of Kanō Eishin and at about the age of twelve or thirteen he became a pupil of Kanō Eitoku Tatsunobu (1814-1891.) A few years later he was employed by Ii Naosuke, Lord of Hakone, as an official painter and was given the rank of samurai. In 1860, when Ii was assassinated, Eitaku resigned his position and began travels throughout Japan, finally returning to settle in Nihonbashi. Trained in Kanō school painting, he was influenced by various styles, including Ming, nanga, and Western-style painting, merging them into his own personal style of realism. He studied briefly with Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) in the 1870s and Keyes reports that after traveling to Kōfu with Yoshitoshi the two "fell into disagreement and separated." He designed color prints in ukiyo-e style after c. 1870 and created newspaper illustrations and nishiki-e for a number of newspapers including the Yokohama mainichi shimbun, Eiri jiyu shinbun and Kakushu shinbun zukai no uchi. In 1879 he illustrated Kanagaki Robun's biography of Ulysses S. Grant. He also created e-hon such as Banbutsu hinagata gafu and Sensai Eitaku gafu. He may be most remembered for the many illustrations he created for the early "crepe paper books" (chirimenbon) for children written by Hasegawa Takejirō (1853-1936) and published by Kobunsha. He specialized in historical subjects and figures.
According to Wikipedia Japan1 his students included Kobayshi Eikō 小林永興 (1868-1933) who became his adopted son, Tomioka Eisen 富岡 永洗 (1864–1905) and Murata Eiyō (or Eiteru?) 村田永耀.
He died in lodgings at Mukojima Koumemura.
Comments of Tim Clark - Curator, Japan, British Museum
Source: website British Museum
"A prolific and versatile artist trained in the traditional Kano school, Eitaku achieved success rather through ukiyoe works and newspaper illustrations, but his reputation in Japan is not yet as high as it should be. Like many important artists whose careers straddled the end of the Edo period and beginning of the Meiji era, Japanese scholars have found it problematic to classify him."
Signatures and Seals Attributed to Artist