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  • 執筆者の写真Michi

Ukiyo-e Viewed Through Japonisme (ジャポニズム  世界を魅了した浮世絵) III at Chiba City Museum of Art


Continued from the blog II

One of the main characters of Ukiyo-e is that the scenes of everyday life were adopted as subjects, which contributed to become popular among the citizens in Edo.

SUZUKI Harunobu (1725~1770)、”Mother and her Baby under a Mosquito Net” Color woodblock print in 1767

Harunobu depicted a daily family scene at night in mid summer. The child was drawn with no ink outlines, just using embossing(空押し) in the surface of the paper.

KITAGAWA Utamaro (?~1806), "Midnight: Mother and Sleepy Child" Color woodblock print in 1798-99

Utamaro depicted a mother trying to let her fussing child urinate at mid night. There were citizens in Edo who would buy such images.

This print is housed at The Metropolitan Museum, in New York.

HYDE Helen(1868~1919), "Baby Talk" Color woodcut print in 1908

Helen specialized in depicting the warm atmosphere between the children and the mothers.

After finishing at the art schools in the United States, she flew to Paris to study art, where she was involved in the wave of Japonisme which was sweeping over Europe. Then she came to Japan in 1899 and produced a lot of woodblock prints and etching.

After Tokugawa era ended in 1868, ukiyo-e artists depicted the Shino-Japanese War nd Russo-Japanese War. And then, though ukiyo-e fell out of flavor due to the development of technologies in the field of printing, some publishers began to produce renewed ukiyo-e influenced by Western art.

KOBAYASHI Kiyochika (1847~1915), "Mt. Fuji from Edobashi Bridge in the Evening" Color woodblock print in 1879

Kiyochika depicted a gas lamp as a motif of a new era in this image.

Kiyochika created a new landscape drawings called Kosenga (光線画), inspired by Western art techniques. No outlines were found.

I posted the images that were allowed to be taken a picture and some are from the brochure. This exhibition includes many masterpieces of ukiyo-e worth seeing . And after seeing this exhibition, I reappreciated that ukiyo-e prints had required collaborative efforts of publishers, artists, wood-carvers, and printers. I couldn't help picturing in my mind who had carved and printed the woodblock print in the Edo era. How amazing it is that Ukiyo-e was admired by many artists not only in Europe but also in Russia and some of them began to produce woodcut prints in late 18th and early 19th century!

This exhibition is on view from Jan. 12 to Mar. 6

Open: 10:00~18:00 (~20:00 on Fridays & Saturdays)

Admission: 1500yen for adults, 800yen for college students, Free for elementary school children and high school students (half the admission fee for the admission after 18:00)

More about Chiba City Museum of Art: please access





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