After training in the academic Kano school tradition, Kyōsai became an independent painter in Edo (today's Tokyo) during the final years of the Tokugawa shogunate. A prolific painter and teacher, he became well known outside Japan through his prominence at the international expositions in Vienna in 1873 and Paris in 1883. These charming, quickly rendered sketches were probably done as models for his students. They reveal the animated brushwork and sure command of form through line that characterize his painting.
Inscription: Signed: Shōjō Kyōsai, in black Seal: Kyōsai, in red
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Animals, Birds, Insects, and Marine Life in Japanese Art," June 26, 2008–November 30, 2008.