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Japanese Prints: Ukiyo-e in Edo



Japanese Prints: Ukiyo-e in Edo

Japanese woodblock prints of the Edo period (1615-1868) were the products of a highly commercialized and competitive publishing industry. Their content was inspired by the vibrant popular culture that flourished in Edo (Tokyo). At any given time scores of publishers competed for the services of the leading artists of the day. Publishers and artists displayed tremendous ingenuity in finding ways to sustain demand for prints and to circumvent the restrictions placed on the industry through government censorship. Although Japanese prints have long been appreciated in the West for their graphic qualities, their content has not always been fully understood. This book draws on recent scholarship that makes possible a more subtle appreciation of the imagery encountered in the prints and how they would have been read when first made. Through stunning new photography of both well-known and rarely published works in the collection of the British Museum, including many recent acquisitions, the author explores how and why such prints were made, providing a fascinating introduction to a much-loved but little-understood art form.

paper back

144 pp

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