Kuniyoshi Utagawa (1797-1861) was one of the great masters of the Japanese ukiyo-e style of woodblock prints and painting. Born in 1797 to a silk-dyer, he helped his father's business as a pattern designer. His drawing talent from an early age attracted the attention of the famous print master Toyokuni Utagawa, and Kuniyoshi became one of his apprentices in 1811. The range of Kuniyoshi's preferred subjects included many genres: landscapes, beautiful women, Kabuki actors, mythical animals, and cats. More than any other Japanese artist, Kuniyoshi depicted cats humorously and satirically, with great accuracy and careful observation.
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