Moronobu (Hishikawa Moronobu)hēshēkä´wä mōrō´nōbo͞o [key], c.1618–c.1694, Japanese painter and color-print designer of the ukiyo-e school. He began his career as an embroiderer. His first of more than 130 illustrated books (1658) is usually regarded as beginning the history of Japanese ukiyo-e prints (see Japanese art). He produced his first single-sheet prints c.1673. His prints are mostly in black and white, although occasionally hand colored. For subject matter he drew from classical literature or depicted the daily life of the common people, celebrated courtesans, and favorite actors. A screen painting of a genre scene at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, is one of the few remaining paintings by Moronobu.
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