Japanese Woodblock Prints
A constantly changing collection of C.19th and C.20th woodblock prints, from the printmakers of the Edo, Meiji and Shin-Hanga eras of Japanese art.
These highly collectable, and beautiful prints vary in price from £40 to £3,000 or more. Often more than a century old they represent a highly populist art, described as Ukiyo-e, or 'pictures of the floating world'. The floating world is an expression meaning the fleeting, ephemeral pleasures of life and in a male dominated culture this meant the theatre, beautiful women, or courtesans, folklore stories, the beauty of flowers and plants and then probably more beautiful women.
Ukiyo-e printmaking dates from the 17th Century, with early prints being black and white; colour coming in as dies and pigments were more readily available, and prints were made by carving more than one block. The prints were finely carved from hardwood with enormous skill, but were not percieved as fine art, being produced by the thousand as commercial art. As the prints became older, many have been destroyed and not respected for the skill they represent. Some prints are now very rare and collectable. Only the time of the Shin Hanga period do we see a renaissance of the Japanese print intended more as an art form for discerning collectors, and the revival of painstaking method is combined with the influence of a wider world.
Woodblock print periods:
For more prints view the 'Artists' section of the website.