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An illustrated survey of Japanese prints at London's Victoria and Albert Museum. Each colour plate is supported by notes together with standard specifications and provenance. The book also includes introductory chapters on the ukiyo-e genre, and the history and character of the Museum's collection. Ever since Japan opened its doors to the West in the latter half of the nineteenth century, Westerners have been fascinated by the exquisite art forms that flourished during the previous two hundred years of self-imposed isolation. Among the most
Japanese woodblock prints made in Edo (now Tokyo) during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were the products of a highly commercialized and competitive publishing industry, which survived and prospered into the early years of the twentieth century. The range of subjects found in them - actors of the kabuki theatre, beautiful women, landscapes, warriors - was inspired by the vibrant popular culture that flourished in the city. At any given time scores of publishers competed for the services of the leading artists of the day, and publishers and artists displayed tremendous ingenuity in finding ways to sustain demand for their products and to circumvent the restrictions placed on the industry through government censorship. Although Japanese prints have long been appreciated in the West for their graphic qualities, their content has not always been fully understood. This book draws on recent scholarship that makes possible a more subtle appreciation of the imagery encountered in the prints and how they would have been read when first made. Through stunning new photography of both well-known and rarely published works in the collection of the British Museum, including many recent acquisitions, the author explores how and why such prints were made, providing a fascinating introduction to a much-loved but little-understood art form.
The art of Japanese woodblock printing, known as ukiyo-e ("pictures of the floating world"), reflects the rich history and way of life in Japan hundreds of years ago. Ukiyo-e: The Art of the Japanese Print takes a thematic approach to this iconic Japanese art form, considering prints by subject matter: geisha and courtesans, kabuki actors, sumo wrestlers, erotica, nature, historical subjects and even images of foreigners in Japan. An artist himself, author Frederick Harris—a well-known American collector who lived in Japan for 50 years—pays special attention to the methods and materials employed in Japanese printmaking. The book traces the evolution of ukiyo-e from its origins in metropolitan Edo (Tokyo) art culture as black and white illustrations, to delicate two-color prints and multicolored designs. Advice to admirers on how to collect, care for, view and buy Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints rounds out this book of charming, carefully selected prints.
Lists modern Japanese print artists and provides illustrations and descriptive commentary on the style and technique of more than one hundred leading artists in the media of etching, woodblock, silkscreen, lithograph, and intaglio
British connoisseur describes in detail the subject of famous Japanese color prints using 274 reproductions of works by Hokusai, Hiroshige, Utamaro, Shunyei, and other masters. Bibliography. Index.
"The Hotei Encyclopedia of Japanese Woodblock Prints" will serve as a source of quick reference as well as an in-depth study of all aspects of Japanese prints from the Edo (1600-1868) to Taish? (1912-26) periods. The first section of "The Hotei Encyclopedia" is divided into four main subject areas. Each subject area contains a longer survey article which is accompanied by shorter essays that highlight specific topics pertaining to Japanese prints and their development. The second section of the book comprises an extensive alphabetical listing of well over a 2000 carefully cross-referenced entries on individual print designers and schools, publishers, carvers, printers and collectors, major Kabuki actors, materials and techniques, conservation, subject-matter/iconography, literature and miscellaneous print-related terminology. This is followed by various appendices, including such aspects as seals of publishers and carvers, signatures, maps and chronological tables.
Japanese woodblock prints, or ukiyo-e, are the most recognizable Japanese art form. Their massive popularity has spread from Japan to be embraced by a worldwide audience. Covering the period from the beginning of the Japanese woodblock print in the 1680s until the year 1900, Japanese Woodblock Prints provides a detailed survey of all the famous ukiyo-e artists, along with over 500 full color prints. Unlike previous examinations of this art form, Japanese Woodblock Prints includes detailed histories of the publishers of woodblock prints—who were often the driving force determining which prints, and therefore which artists, would make it into mass circulation for a chance at critical and popular success. Invaluable as a guide for ukiyo-e enthusiasts looking for detailed information about their favorite Japanese woodblock print artists and prints, it is also an ideal introduction for newcomers to the world of the woodblock print. This lavishly illustrated book will be a valued addition to the libraries of scholars, as well as the general art enthusiast.

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