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Cover image for Ukiyo-e / Gian Carlo Calza.
Ukiyo-e / Gian Carlo Calza.
Ukiyo-e / Gian Carlo Calza.
Personal Author:
1st ed.
London : Phaidon,
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Bibliography Note:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Visions of the floating world / Gian Carlo Calza -- Enjoying actor prints: imagining the voices of actors and music / Mutō Junko -- Pictures of female beauties and actors in Ukiyo-e representations of Kabuki theatre in the early period / Kobayashi Tadashi -- The poetic picture: literary dimensions of early Ukiyo-e / John T. Carpenter -- Shunga: erotic art of the Edo Period / Timon Screech -- The birth and development of the depiction of female beauties (bijin-ga) in Ukiyo-e painting / Naitō Masato -- Three types of Ukiyo-e prints: loose prints, greeting cards and printed books / Asano Shūgō -- Introduction to the floating world -- I. Passions on the stage: the Kabuki theatre -- II. Past and present: tradition in the world of today -- III. The relationship with nature -- IV. Landscape -- V. City life -- VI. The female figure in the floating world.
In this impressive study Professor Calza examines images of the floating world (ukiyo-e) found in paintings, screens, illustrated books and, above all, the numerous woodblock prints that nineteenth-century French artists were to find so influential. Through six essays and six catalogue sections this book provides a fascinating and thorough introduction to the very best works of this period. The essays supply detailed background information on the history, techniques and development of ukiyo-e and the plate section has been arranged to reflect the six great themes of the floating world - theatre, tradition, nature, landscape, town life and feminine beauty - developed by the artists to satisfy the demands and tastes of their customers. Within each section works have been arranged in chronological order and according to schools. Many of these remarkable images illustrate the tastes, habits and passions of the people of Edo: fashionable scenes set in the nightless city of Yoshiwara, festive excursions to admire cherry blossoms or maple leaves, parties in sailing boats and firework displays. A great number are in fact posters promoting kabuki actors and performances. Almost as theatrical, courtesans and geisha were also an important part of life and art in Edo, and ukiyo-e artists interpreted them as the ultimate symbol of female beauty and elegance. In addition to illustrating feminine beauty almost all the artists of the floating world created erotic works (shunga), since their popularity provided an important part of their income. Included here are many great masterpieces, such as "Utamaro's exquisite Pillow Book."
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