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Ukiyo-e print of Fukagawa, from "36 views of Mt. Fuji"
Katsushika Hokusai
Oban format paper, woodblock-printed and hand-coloured
Centimetres: 40.7 (length), 56 (width)
1830 - 1831 AD
Edo period
Area of Origin: Japan
Area of Use: Japan; Asia
Sir Edmund Walker Collection

Description: Ukiyo-e prints of the early 17th century developed from illustrated books. Later in the century the illustrations gained such widespread popularity that they were issued separately. Early ukiyo-e prints were printed in black and white, sometimes with red, yellow and green colour washes added by hand. With the advent of full-colour printing in the 1740s, up to ten colours could be applied, each by its own carved woodblock. Improved printing techniques made the vibrant and colourful ukiyo-e prints one of the great achievements in Japanese art. The ukiyo-e format inspired Japan's greatest artists. The radical perspectives, flat planes of colour, and bold lines of Utamaro, Hokusai, Hiroshige, and other ukiyo-e masters were much admired in the West and considerably influenced the works of Impressionist and post-Impressionist painters such as Manet, Whistler and Van Gogh. Katsushika Hokusai, one of the most prolific and experimental artists of the 19th century, produced some 30,000 works in a career spanning seven decades. His album of sketches, Hokusai manga, significantly shaped the European view of Japanese art. Hokusai was acclaimed for his dramatic and innovative book illustrations and landscape prints and his Mount Fuji views are considered his ukiyo-e masterpieces.

Exhibit History: ROM Japan Gallery opening December 2005-September 2006

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