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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  August 31, 2021 (Tue) - September 26, 2021 (Sun)

"Hour of the Monkey" from the Series Women at Various Hours of the Day
By Kitagawa Utamaro, Edo period, 18th century (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 a brilliant range of colors became possible.

Major Work(s) on Exhibit 2 results
Designation Name Amount Creation Excavation Period Acquisition Ownership Comment
_MD_RECOMMEND Important Art Object Courtesan By Kaigetsudō Dohan (dates unknown) Edo period, 18th century A-10569-411
_MD_RECOMMEND Important Cultural Property “Hour of the Monkey” from the Series "Women at Various Hours of the Day" By Kitagawa Utamaro (possibly 1753–1806) Edo period, 18th century A-10569-521
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