Re: Definition UKIYO-E

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Posted by Hans Olof Johansson on January 13, 2003 at 11:40:05:

In Reply to: Defenition UKIYO-E posted by Theo de Kreijger on January 13, 2003 at 02:48:19:

: "Pictures of the Floating World"


Theo has provided a translation but not necessarily a definition of ukiyo-e. Even if it is the usual translation of ukiyo-e, it really doesn't tell you anything about this form of art. "Pictures of everyday life" would probably be a more informative translation. Basically, ukiyo-e is a term used for the prints and paintings that were created by certain groups of Japanese artists from the 16th to the 19th century (and the very first years of the 20th century). These artists mostly depicted the urban life in Edo (now Tokyo) and Osaka, with their kabuki actors, courtesans, wrestlers and teahouse girls, and through the evolving woodblock printing technique their works were widely spread and became very popular.

There are many good reference books and also websites, where you can get an introduction to the art of ukiyo-e. An excellent starting point would be John Fiorillo's site (see link below).

Best regards,
Hans Olof

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