Portrait of Confucius, with Chinese inscription underneath. Based on image carved in stone at Qufu, Confucius' hometown.
From the first Tokaido series, Hoeido Tokaido edition. One of the most well known 19th century ukiyo-e artists, famous for his landscape views, particularly his images of the Tokaido. As the busiest highway in the 18th and early 19th centuries, the Tokaido offered numerous chances to experience a variety of social classes and day-to-day activities. Numerous images of this highway were created during the Edo period, some in singular views and others in series, the most famous of which are Hiroshigeâ€™s numerous editions. The images depicted the commercial activity along the road and famous views seen on the journey. Hiroshige, in particular, also chose many of the views based on varying times of year and the weather conditions that offered an ever-changing impression of the landscape. Greatly influenced by his teacher Utagawa Toyoharu, Hiroshige often employed perspective views rather than the more traditional stacked and flattened views of the landscape found in the Kano school of painting. This slightly more western view helps to explain his popularity among 19th century artists in Europe. In this image, near station number sixteen, Hiroshige shows travelers about to get a majestic view of Mt. Fuji. Long a traditional subject matter in Kano style painting, views of Mt. Fuji were charged with national pride and an important sense of place to the Japanese. The artist combines this ancient tradition with a far more popular and temporal sense of place.
A student of Toyoharu, Toyokuni became the head of the Utagawa school after his masterâ€™s death. At eighteen the artist published his first works, a series of illustrations of Japanese folk tales and thereafter he devoted much of his early career to the creation of bijin-ga. He achieved the greatest renown, however, for actor prints in which he was one of the first to show the full bodies and the costumes of his subjects. Like his contemporary Kitagawa Utamaro, Toyokuni was punished for the content of some of his prints, at one point being sentenced to fifty days in hand-shackles for his series Ehon Taiheki (The Taihei Romance Illustrated). By the 1820s Toyokuniâ€™s name had become synonymous with fine prints of actors and their roles. A tragic female character in numerous Kabuki plays, Shizuka-gozen offered Kabuki actors a chance to portray the gamut of emotions from love to mourning and demanded a great degree of agility and grace as she danced before the gods and her captors.
Bijin-ga (images of beauties) might be of actual contemporary and historic women or of an idealized type of beauty specific to a time and region. Courtesans in particular were usually depicted in the latest and most elaborate fashions of the day. After restrictive censorship laws were passed in the 1840s, many artists turned to generalized pictures of the latest fashions and more domestic settings for their images of beauties.
From the Fifty-three Stations of the first Tokaido series in the Hoeido Tokaido edition and one of the most well-known 19th century ukiyo-e artists, famous for his landscape views, particularly his images of the Tokaido. This image was originally a part of architect Frank Lloyd Wrightâ€™s collection of Japanese woodblock prints. It along with 36 others came to the Wriston from a benefactor who received them from Wright in lieu of a payment for printing services. Many of the prints have Wrightâ€™s handwritten notations in the margins. Though many of the Wright works in our collection are of lesser quality, the images serve as an example of the interest in Asian art that so informed Wrightâ€™s architecture. As the busiest highway in the 18th and early 19th centuries, the Tokaido offered numerous chances to experience a variety of social classes and day-to-day activities. Numerous images of this highway were created during the Edo period, some in singular views and others in series, the most famous of which are Hiroshigeâ€™s numerous editions. The images depicted the commercial activity along the road and famous views seen on the journey. Hiroshige, in particular, also chose many of the views based on varying times of year and the weather conditions that offered an ever-changing impression of the landscape. Greatly influenced by his teacher Utagawa Toyoharu, Hiroshige often employed perspective views rather than the more traditional stacked and flattened views of the landscape found in the Kano school of painting. This slightly more western view helps to explain his popularity among 19th century artists in Europe. One of Hiroshigeâ€™s most famous images â€œMorning Mist at Mishima Stationâ€ shows the artistâ€™s interest in the ever-changing effects of light, dark and atmosphere. This was station number eleven.
Toyoshige is considered a somewhat mediocre pupil of Toyokuni I but as the artistâ€™s son-in-law he became the head of the Utagawa school after Toyokuni I died. This infuriated Kunisada, who later became the head of the Utagawa school and he had Toyoshigeâ€™s name removed from the family roster.Bijin-ga (images of beauties) might be of actual contemporary and historic women or of an idealized type of beauty specific to a time and region. Courtesans in particular were usually depicted in the latest and most elaborate fashions of the day. After an increasing number of censorship laws were passed to limit the production of prints of famous courtesans, thought to corrupt the morals of the citizens of Japan, many artists turned to domestic images of mothers and daughters or women with servants and generalized pictures of the latest fashions in order to satisfy the demand for bijin-ga and skirt the laws.
One of nineteen prints which illustrate the process of making a multi-block multicolor woodblock print.The print reproduced is the view of Asakusa Kinryuzan (Asakusa Kannon Temple) from Ando Hiroshigeâ€™s Toto yukimi hakkei (Eight Views of Snow in the Eastern Capital).
Color woodblock print, 15-1/2 x 12". â€œThe Love Letterâ€ [le billet doux] depicts a Mongolian woman crouching and turning round to meet the viewerâ€™s eye. This image is printed on gold-flecked paper, and uses silver and gold ink sparingly to produce a subtle richness. The round purse at her waist is embossed. Jacoulet was born in Paris, but from a very young age lived in Japan.
Color woodblock print, 15-1/2 x 11-3/4". One of a pair of prints of Old Ainu Woman and Old Ainu Man. Both have owl-shaped seals. Both appear to be printed on mica-flecked paper, which adds a subtle richness to the print. Both depict their subjects from the waist up.
Woodblock print. 13Â¾" x 9". Paper was issued in the Tokugawa Period (1615-1868) in standard sizes, most prints being in the oban format of 15 x10. The smaller size of this print thus indicates cutting. Condition good with some slight damage and staining. Professor Mandancyâ€™s original list identifies this work correctly as second print in 1855 set, though her letter listed it again mistakenly as part of the earlier set. Old time connoisseurs of ukiyo-e looked mostly at the lines, but today, there is more consideration of the printing of the colors. Studies of the prints of Harunobu by Jack Hillier (Suzuki Harunobu, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1970, pp. 28-31) suggest that this Ukiyo-e artist offered a first state (best rubbed and colored) to a select clientele and then made subsequent larger, offerings (less carefully rubbed and colored) for more casual buyers. Some regard only the first offering as Art, seeing the later ones as closer to reproduction for commercial purposes. Colors have faded in both Hakone and Shinagawa, as is apparent in the pink rather than red tone of the vertical title bar. However, Hakone shows much more careful rubbing than Shinagawa. An example is the blue bar in the sea above the roofline in the middle of the print of Shinagawa. Such a blue bar is common in Ukiyo-e and is called a â€œnumber oneâ€ (ichimonji) because the character for â€œ1â€ is a single, horizontal stroke. An ichimonji is made by painting a broad band of color onto the pre-moistened block and then swiping across it to remove some color and so create a tonal variation. Streaks in the blue bar in Shinagawa indicate that this â€œwipeâ€ was quick and simple. This is also true for the blue at the top of Shinagawa, or the colors of the distant mountains, wall, or other areas. By contrast, the grey color of the large mountain that dominates the left half of the composition of Hakone is much more carefully done. It fades out much more gradually. The grain of the wooden block has also been used to create cliffs and crags in the mountain. Similarly, the rubber used the rough texture of the wood itself to give the dotted look of gritty rock. This effect is particularly nicely done in the area by the shore, where it produces a sandy texture that contrasts to the wet-looking blue water.
Color woodblock print, 15-1/2 x 11-3/4". One of a pair of prints of Old Ainu Woman and Old Ainu Man. Both have owl-shaped seals. Both appear to be printed on mica-flecked paper, which adds a subtle richness to the print. Both depict their subjects from the waist up.The male figure has an embossed pattern in his beard and eyebrows.
Color woodblock, 7 X 9 1/4 inches, ink and color on paper. Central bridge,busy with travelers and pilgrims, diminishing at vanishing point with grey mountains in the distance. Sanjo-ohashi Bridge in Kyoto was located on the Kamo River and one of the major landmarks in Kyoto. Hiroshige skillfully uses one point perspective to lead the eye of the viewer gradually to the other endof the bridge, past the rooftops of Kyoto to Higashiyama Mountain range in the far distance.
Color woodblock, 7 X 9 1/4 inches, ink and color on paper. Burning pink flames between grey mountains as porters travel along the narrow and steep mountain pass at Hakone, near Lake Ashinoko. Hiroshige captured the moment when porters struggle to carry their feudal retainers in sedan chairs as darkness nears.
Color woodblock, 15 1/4 X 10 1/2 inches. Print by one of the leading artists of the Shin Hanga print movement. The depiction of the landscape from a sharp angle in this print reflects the influence of traditional Japanese woodblock prints in the Edo period. Published by S. Watanabe Color Print, with signature of Hasui and stamp in red in lower right corner.
Entire work, 24 inch square, Image is 20 X 13 inches, printed on cotton.
Woodblock print, accordion-folded book; ink on paper. The ritual text of the Dabei chanyi hejie is itself is a pared down version of longer eleventh century manual for the great compassion repentance (titled, Qianshouyan dabei xinzhou xingfa, or "Rite [for Recitation] of the Dharani of Great Compassion of Thousand Armed and Eyed [Guanyin]," which can be found in Taisho daizokyo, vol. 46, T no. 1950). The original 11th century manual was authored by Siming Zhili (960-1038), one of the most influential Tiantai masters of the Northern Song period. The rite of the "great compassion repentance" has been enormously popular among Chinese Buddhists throughout the later imperial period (and not just Tiantai circles), with Zhili's manual serving as the principal guide to its performance. (Actually, this is also the origin of the Soto-shu's Kannon senbo, which comes out of Song China and is based on Zhili's text). Precisely when the shortened version of the rite -- i.e., the abridged rite reflected in the Dabei chanyi hejie -- actually took shape is not entirely clear, but it appears to have been used widely in the late Ming and Qing Dynasties, if not earlier. A number of printings of the Dabei chanyi hejie were apparently done in the 19th century (above information courtesy of Prof. Daniel Stevenson, University of Kansas, a specialist in Chinese Buddhism).
Woodblock print framed behind glass; ink and colors on paper. SaitÃ´ studied Western-style painting at the HongÃ´ Painting Institute and exhibited his oil paintings with various art groups and societies. After having a print accepted by the Kokugakai ("National Picture Association"), SaitÃ´ began to seriously pursue printmaking. In 1938 he issued his first prints in his now famous "Winter in Aizu" series. After steadily gaining recognition, he won first prize in 1951 at the Sao Paulo, Brazil international biennial exhibition for his print called "Steady Gaze," where it won over both prints and paintings. SaitÃ´ admired Piet Mondrian, and some of his views of buildings and temples seem to display that influence in their simplified forms. SaitÃ´'s prints have been especially popular in the west, although his works are appreciated in Japan as well. He worked primarily in the woodblock medium, while also producing works in collagraph, drypoint, and color and ink paintings (suiboku ga). He carved his images into blocks of various woods, either solid katsura or plywood faced with katsura, rawan, yanagi, keyaki, shina, or lauan, to obtain a wide range of textures. In some cases he used only one block for all the colors in a design, while for others he needed as many as 5 or 6 different blocks. He often used kizuki-hÃ´sho ("genuinely-made hÃ´sho," that is, the fine-quality paper made from kÃ´zo, "Paper mulberry").
From Gujarat/Rajastan; ink and colors on cloth; 63 1/2in. x 64 1/8in. (152.2cm. x 163.5cm.) This elaborate and easily readable painted image illustrates the cosmological beliefs of the Jain religion. Essentially the patta is a representation of the creation of the mortal realm. Brightly colored concentric circles superimposed upon meandering streams, figures and texts create a vivid picture of the world as visualized by Jain philosophers in their complex oral and written discourses.
Mezzotint; ink and colors on paper, framed under glass. Tomoe Yokoi was born in Nagoya Japan in 1943. She began art studies at Bunk Tokyo College of Art, were the curriculum was traditional techniques. Subject matter stressed was realistic everyday images such as fruits, musical instruments, and flowers. In 1964, following graduation, Yokoi moved to Paris, and studied intaglio printmaking with S. W. Hayter as this famous workshop, Atelier. In Paris Yokoi perfected her technique of mezzotint, expanding its parameters to include more complex images and subtle color nuances. In 1971 Yokoi moved to New York City where she worked and introduced her art to New York audiences. She developed a unique style which combines and is a synthesis of her Japanese, Parisian, and New York experiences.