ANDREAS MARKS    Book Number: 91541    Product format: Hardback

The Japanese woodblock print showcased breath-taking landscapes, blush-inducing erotica, ghosts and demons that torment the living, and made sumo wrestlers and kabuki actors into rock stars. This condensed edition reveals the most exceptional prints from 1680-1938, drawing from the finest impressions of museums and private collections worldwide. 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 but often remains misunderstood as an "exotic" artifact that helped inspire Western creativity. Some of the most disruptive ideas in modern art were 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 volume lifts the veil on a much-loved but little-understood art form by presenting the 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 of the shifting mores 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 - stars who populated the "floating world" and whose fan bases fuelled the frenzied production of woodblock prints. We delve into the horrifying and the obscure in 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 are united by the technical mastery and infallible eye of their creators and how, with tremendous ingenuity and tongue-in-cheek wit, publishers and artists alike fought to circumvent government censorship. This new edition compiles the finest extant impressions from museums and private collections across the globe in a lightweight, accessible format, offering extensive descriptions to guide us through this frantic period in Japanese art history. 15.6 x 21.7cm, 512 pages.
Bibliophile price: £25.00

Additional product information

ISBN 9783836587532
Browse these categories as well: Art & Architecture, Taschen new publications: Art and Photography

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