Fan Prints

In: English and Literature

Submitted By aracing6
Words 685
Pages 3
8 Views of Edo (Edo Hakkei): Fan Prints by Ukagawa Hiroshige Ukiyo-e, also called “pictures of the floating world” revolutionized art for Japan and for the rest of the world. Artists practicing Ukiyo-e would carefully craft woodblock prints depicting scenes of daily life against the backdrop of Japan’s landscapes. However, these scenes were far from ordinary. Each subject pops off the page with color and thrives within a scene of meticulous detail. Whether it be a landscape or a lively city scene, each print is eye-catching and unique. Some of these prints are well-known today, such as Hokusai’s The Great Wave or Hiroshige’s Sudden Shower Over Shin-Ohashi Bridge and Atake , but most remain relatively unknown. Utagawa Hiroshige was a famous master of Ukiyo-e prints with a wide variety of artwork on a variety of media. One such medium was uchiwa-e, fan prints. These images, although not as well-known, represent a great amount of his work. In particular, his 8 Views of Edo (Edo Hakkei), was very popular during his time. This collection, entitled Hakkei, is a series of scenes portraying beautifully dressed geisha women placed in the foreground of famous sites in Edo. Each plate includes a different location, including Mount Fuji, Ryogoku, Tsukuda and the Sumida River. Interestingly enough, Utagawa Hiroshige’s intention was to capture and popularize the majestic beauty of these places, not their geisha subjects. Woodblock printing did not begin with the Ukiyo-e movement. Instead, it began long before: in the eight century. First seen in China, their original purpose of woodblock prints was to copy religious texts. From there, woodblock printing endured many stages of development, each adding a new color. Starting with black, artists added red, green then other colors, finally culminating in the mid 1760’s with the complete set of colors, called “brocade pictures”…...

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