press release

Woodblock prints of the Edo Period (1615-1868) are among the most recognizable in the world, due in part to the popularity of its two most well-known artists, Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) and Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858). Asian techniques of printing with carved wood blocks had developed hundreds of years earlier in order to create multiple copies of Buddhist texts and devotional images; however, the printmaking techniques were perfected in the 19th c. in concert with the flourishing of the pleasure quarters (Ukiyo) in Edo (present day Tokyo) and the popular depictions of famous geisha, famous actors, sporting events, and famous sites throughout Japan, which were eagerly sought by contemporary Japanese collectors. These prints reveal much about daily life in Japan during the 19th c., its politics and popular culture, the beauty of cherry blossoms in the spring and maple leaves in the fall, the locales sought by its own tourists, and the hustle and bustle of the city of Edo.

The exhibition explores this period through its imagery, largely through approximately 30 woodblock prints by Hokusai and Hiroshige, their depictions of famous places, the landscape of the countryside, and also their innovations in the depiction of landscape that so influenced Western artists. Also featured are 4 actor prints by Toyokuni III (1786-1864).

The Floating World
Japanese Woodblock Prints from the Collection

mit Werken von Katsushika Hokusai, Utagawa Hiroshige ...