In 1805 Shigemasa authored one of the first full-color Japanese picture books of flowers and birds. The book’s title was Shashin Kachō Zue which means naturalistic pictures of flowers and birds. The word naturalistic is an accurate descriptor of the pictures which showed birds interacting with flowers and fruits in a true-to-life way. Shigemasa drew the shapes of the birds and flowers more accurately than did his predecessors, perhaps reflecting the increasing influencing of European-style realistic art on Japanese artists. The book’s twenty-five pictures are included in this gallery. Click on a picture to enlarge it. In 1827 a second volume was published with another twenty-five pictures. To see pictures from both volumes click here.

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