|Japanese Prints||Sign In | Register | Contact us | New User?|
The origins of ukiyo-e - a synonym for Japanese woodblock prints - go back to the middle of the 17th century. Ukiyo-e means literally translated pictures of the floating world.
First Publication: May 2001
Latest Update: May 2013
The first prints were black and white. The artists Okomura Masanobu and Harunobu Suzuki were among the first to introduce color woodblock prints. The most commonly illustrated subjects are theater, women, landscape, nature and scenes from Japan's history and old legends.
In the second half of the 19th century when Japan's isolation was broken by the US navy under Captain Perry's command, ukiyo-e soon became very popular all over the world. The French impressionists like Paul Gauguin or van Gogh were highly influenced by these fascinating works of art.
This video produced by The Asian Art Museum has a somewhat long title: Hokusai and Hiroshige: Great Japanese Prints from the James A. Michener Collection. The James A. Michener was a famous collector of ukiyo-e. The video, fortuantely, is a good introduction for non-experts to the genre of ukiyo-e. Thanks to the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco for sharing this with us.
The Edo period is considered the classic period of the traditional art of ukiyo-e.
The art of woodblock printing in the Meiji period is marked by the industrialization and swift westernization which Japan underwent in this era. Famous artists are Chikanobu Toyohara, Yoshitoshi or Ogata Gekko to name a few.
The Shin Hanga movement tried to revitalize the old ukiyo-e tradition. The shin hanga art movement was initiated and promoted by Watanabe Shozaburo, a publisher and business man. Some of the leading artists are Kawase Hasui, Natori Shunsen, Ito Shinsui and Yoshida Hiroshi.
The Sosaku Hanga (creative prints) movement was more influenced by Western art. The Sosaku Hanga artists thought that the artist should do all steps of producing a print - design, cutting the block and printing - himself.
The market value of a woodblock print depends on different factors: the artist, the subject, the condition and how rare a print is. It can vary from $20 to $250,000 or more.
The condition of an ukiyo-e print has a high influence on its value. For a list of commonly used expressions to describe prints, please go to Print Conditions.
When looking for ukiyo-e, you should consider that an original print of 100 or 150 or more years, will never look perfect. If it does, you should be careful not to buy a reproduction, especially if it's a print of one of the famous artists like Hokusai, Utamaro, Ando Hiroshige or others.
As for subjects and artists, this depends on market trends and fashions. The best approach of looking at a print should be your very personal impression: Do I like it or not and do I want to spend the money for it?
The Japanese ukiyo-e artists used standard sizes. You often find these sizes referred to with their Japanese words. Here is a list of the most frequently encountered standard sizes for Japanese woodblock prints and the approximate measures:
|Japanese||Size in cm||Size in inches|
|aiban||22,5 x 34 cm||9 x 13 inches|
|chuban||19 x 26 cm||7.5 x 10 inches|
|hashira-e||12 x 73 cm||4.5 x 28.5 inches|
|hosoban||14,5 x 33 cm||5.6 x 13 inches|
|nagaban||25 x 52 cm||10 x 20.5 inches|
|oban||25 x 38 cm||10 x 15 inches|
|shikishiban||23 x 23 cm||9,2 x 9,2 inches|
A more detailed list can be found on Japanese Print Sizes.
For a more detailed discussion of the matter please, read Care of Art Prints.
Author: Dieter Wanczura
.. more about Dieter Wanczura
The images on this web site are the property of the artist(s) and or the artelino GmbH and/or a third company or institution. Reproduction, public display and any commercial use of these images, in whole or in part, require the expressed written consent of the artist(s) and/or the artelino GmbH.
Auction Japanese Prints - Popular Magazines in Meiji - 1109 ending in 7 hours and 2 minutes..
2. We clear your account.
3. You can bid.
Thank you! - Dieter and Yorie