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The Art of Ukiyo–e | 17th–19th century

"The Art of Ukiyo–e | 17th–19th century"

Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 10  January 2, 2021 (Sat) - January 31, 2021 (Sun)

The Actor Ichikawa Ebizō as Takemura Sadanoshin, By Toshusai Sharaku, Edo period, 1794 (Important Cultural Property)

Prints and paintings called ukiyo–e were the first genre of art enjoyed by common people on a large scale. Economic growth contributed to the creation of this genre in the 17th century. As living standards improved, common people developed an urban culture that was passionate about trends, fashion, and entertainment.

At first, ukiyo–e depicted the celebrities of the day, especially actors of the kabuki theater and courtesans of the pleasure quarters (the legal brothel district). The subject matter later expanded to include topics like seasonal festivals, travel spots, and landscapes.Techniques for making ukiyo–e also changed over time. Early ukiyo–e were painted by hand. Artisans later started carving images into blocks of wood and using these blocks to print ukiyo–e in large numbers. These black–and–white prints were much more affordable. As carving and printing techniques were refined, prints with a brilliant range of colors became possible.

Major Work(s) on Exhibit 3 results
Designation Name Amount Creation Excavation Period Acquisition Ownership Comment
_MD_RECOMMEND “The New Year” from the Series "The Five Festivals of Mutual Desire" By Kitagawa Utamaro (possibly 1753–1806) Edo period, 18th century A-10569-2036
_MD_RECOMMEND Important Cultural Property The Actor Ichikawa Ebizō as Takemura Sadanoshin By Toshusai Sharaku (dates unknown) Edo period, 1794 (Kansei 6) A-10569-470
_MD_RECOMMEND Scenes along the Sumida River By Chōbunsai Eishi (1756–1829) Edo period, 19th century A-573
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