This stunning art book gathers together approximately two hundred Japanese woodblock prints depicting scenic spots and cultural icons that still delight visitors today. Read more...
This stunning art book gathers together approximately two hundred Japanese woodblock prints depicting scenic spots and cultural icons that still delight visitors today. Many of the prints are by masters such as Utagawa Hiroshige, Kitagawa Utamaro, and Utagawa Kunisada, and currently hang in prestigious galleries and museums worldwide. Katsuhika Hokusai, the artform's most celebrated artist, is also well represented, with many prints from his "Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido Road" series and "Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji" series, including his world-renowned "Great Wave" print.
In addition to prints showcasing Japan's natural beauty, this carefully curated selection depicts roads and railways; favorite pastimes, such as blossom viewing and attending festivals; beloved entertainment, such as kabuki theater; the fashions they wore, and the food they ate. Author Andreas Marks is a leading expert on Japanese woodblock prints, and his Illuminating captions provide background context to the scenes depicted.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-03-23
- Reviewer: Staff
Art historian Marks (Japanese Woodblock Prints) shows off an impressive selection of nearly 200 Japanese woodblock prints in this elegant four-color album. Drawn mainly from the collections of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (where the author heads the Japanese and Korean Art department) and the Honolulu Museum of Art, the prints capture the era following the mass arrival of Westerners in Japan in the mid-19th century. Opening with a short essay about how local pilgrimages explain the Japanese appetite for domestic travel, Marks organizes the prints by location, with chapters on sights in and around Tokyo, Kyoto, and other regions in Japan. Works by famous printmakers Katsushika Hokusai and the prolific Utagawa Hiroshige are well represented, including classic scenes of Mount Fuji and the ubiquitous “Great Wave.” Lesser-known 20th-century artists depict scenes from the 1940s with a modern sensibility, such as stark images of Tokyo Station with a paper lantern in the foreground. In some cases, details of the prints are reproduced in the main part of the book, with full versions of the images included at the end. The text is sparse but provides some historical context while allowing the images to tell the story of Japan in its many moods and seasons. (Apr.)