ANDREAS MARKS    Book Number: 87285    Product format: Hardback

From Edouard Manet's portrait of naturalist writer Émile Zola sitting among his Japanese art finds to Van Gogh's meticulous copies of the Hiroshige prints he devotedly collected, 19th century pioneers of European modernism made no secret of their love of Japanese art. In all its sensuality, freedom and effervescence, the woodblock print is single-handedly credited with the wave of japonaiserie that first enthralled France and, later, all of Europe. It was invented in Japan in the 1700s and expressed like never before in the designs of such masters as Hokusai, Utamaro, and Hiroshige in the early 19th century. This book lifts the veil on a much-loved but little-understood art form by presenting the 200 most exceptional Japanese woodblock prints in their historical context. Ranging from the 17th century development of decadent ukiyo-e, or "pictures of the floating world", to the decline and later resurgence of prints in the early 20th century, the images collected in this edition make up an unmatched record not only of a unique genre in art history, but also of the shifting morés and cultural development of Japan. From mystical mountains to snowy passes, samurai swordsmen to sex workers in shop windows, each piece is explored as a work of art in its own right, revealing the stories and people behind the motifs. We discover the four pillars of the woodblock print - beauties, actors, landscapes, and bird-and-flower compositions, alongside depictions of sumo wrestlers, kabuki actors, or enticing courtesans, who populated the "floating world". We delve into the horrifying and the obscure prints where demons, ghosts, man-eaters, and otherworldly creatures torment the living - stunning images that continue to influence Japanese manga, film, and video games to this day. We witness how, in their incredible breadth, from everyday scenes to erotica, the martial to the mythological, these works have tremendous ingenuity and tongue-in-cheek wit. Publishers and artists alike fought to circumvent government censorship. Three years in the making, this extra large sized edition presents reproductions of the finest extant impressions from the vaults of museums and private collections across the globe, many newly photographed especially for this project. Some 17 stunning fold-outs invite us to study even the subtlest details, while extensive descriptions guide us through this frantic period in Japanese art history. Features the work of 89 artists, from the world-renowned to the unfamiliar, seven chapters organized chronologically to trace the history of the medium from 1680 to 1938, 17 fold-outs, which had to be hand-folded due to their size and specifications and exclusive reproductions from museums and private collections. With an appendix listing all artists and works. 29 x 39.5cm, 622 pages. New from Taschen. Colour.
Bibliophile price: £150.00

Additional product information

ISBN 9783836563369
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