Kawanabe Kyôsai (1831-1889) was one of the last masters of the ukiyo-e, a type of woodblock prints and paintings that flourished in Japan from the 17th through 19th centuries. Kyôsai never understood why western artists kept painting static… poses of their models. If the model is a bird, how can he paint it? So, he stood for long hours observing the birds, because, for him, what he painted was not the copy of the bird, but what his spirit had retained from the observation…
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