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Engraving Print

In 1603, the supreme leader of Japan, Tokugawa Leyasu, named the city of Edo (modern-day Tokyo) as the capital of the archipelago. This decision led to a blossoming of the arts for more than two and a half centuries, known as the Edo period. During this period, with the exception of a few trade deals, Japan completely closed its borders. It developed a strong and striking culture, particularly when it came to printmaking. Already popular in China, printmaking was popularised in Japan by Hishikawa Moronobu and Suzuki Harunob. Strong competition and a price war emerged between printmakers in Edo. At the time, prints had a commercial purpose and were not considered as works of art. The names of their creators were not known as several people were involved in their production. Prints were a part of everyday life. They could be found on calendars, as decorations or on advertisements. Later, there were also prints made of 19th century actors, which are among the rarest and most expensive prints today, especially those by Toshusai Sharaku. The most famous prints are those of landscapes, a genre represented by masters such as Hokusai and Hiroshige and which inspired many European painters in the 19th and early 20th century. Japanese society had a deeply-held belief that everyone is inhabited by souls and spirits; consequently, prints depicting legends are also very prized. During this period, when life was tough for the Japanese people and when men enjoyed great sexual freedom, many erotic prints were created, including the famous "Abuna-e" and the licentious "Shunga". Over the centuries, the value of prints increased and engravers gained more recognition. They spread throughout the world when Japan's borders were re-opened, which led to a fascination with printmaking amongst many artists. The process of making a print is simple but hard to master: glue is applied to a block, the drawing is glued to it, facing the wood, then the engraver scores the lines, hollows out the surrounding wood and then engraves the drawing. The engraver engraves as many blocks as there are colours in the image. Finally, he applies colour to the engraved block, spreading it out and prints the image onto a surface. In the 19th century, printmaking gained popularity in the Western world, following two universal exhibitions in Paris and London in 1870. Artists began collecting them and then imitating the technique and style of ukyo-e (images of the floating world). This is called Japonism. The artists who drew inspiration from Japan include Claude Monet, Edouard Manet and Vincent Van Gogh who were all fascinated by the artworks of the prolific Edo period which provided them with new rules, new subjects and a new colour palette. Van Gogh even wrote: “All my work is based to some extent on Japanese art... Japanese art, in decline in its own country, is taking new roots among French Impressionist artists." Impressionism, like printmaking, focused on the outdoors and aimed to depict a personified version of nature. It was also inspired by Japanese engravers and their way of breaking the rules of perspective to focus instead on movement, light and colour.

Collector’s Guide: Collecting Prints

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Atsuko Ishii, There's Melody, Print

Atsuko Ishii

There's Melody, 2021
30 x 24 x 0.5 cm
Print

$120

Gérard Garouste, Le minotaure _ l'Apiculteur et les indiens, Print

Gérard Garouste

Le minotaure _ l'Apiculteur et les indiens, 2009
19 x 12 x 1 cm
Print

$838

Bellus, Optimiste, Print

Bellus

Optimiste, 2021
70 x 50 x 0.2 cm
Print

$179

Alfred Bruns, Angels Anges, Print

Alfred Bruns

Angels Anges, 1963
15 x 21 cm
Print

$621 $1,017

Zenoy, Estampe rehaussée, Print

Zenoy

Estampe rehaussée, 2017
70 x 70 cm
Print

$826

François Avril, Bretagne - Vert, Print

François Avril

Bretagne - Vert, 2018
64 x 90.5 cm
Print

$538

Françoise Pétrovitch, Le Garçon au Squelette, Print

Françoise Pétrovitch

Le Garçon au Squelette, 2016
160 x 120 cm
Print

$2,393

Jacques Monory, Meurtre n°5, Print

Jacques Monory

Meurtre n°5, 2014
89.5 x 60 cm
Print

$503

Flog, Bart, Print

Flog

Bart, 2021
70 x 50 cm
Print

$335

Lorenzo Mattotti, Tiepolo 1 (La Danse), Print

Lorenzo Mattotti

Tiepolo 1 (La Danse), 2016
75.5 x 106 cm
Print

$479

Jean-Louis Toutain, Sous le réverbère, Print

Jean-Louis Toutain

Sous le réverbère, 2019
56 x 38 cm
Print

$658

Romain Froquet, Fertile 2, Print

Romain Froquet

Fertile 2, 2018
40 x 30 cm
Print

$156

Marc Sinic, Autoportrait au pack - série monde imaginaire, Print

Marc Sinic

Autoportrait au pack - série monde imaginaire, 2021
50 x 70 x 1.5 cm
Print

$479

Winshluss, Over the Rainbow, Print

Winshluss

Over the Rainbow, 2018
120 x 80 cm
Print

$1,795

Alain Séchas, Trottinette, Print

Alain Séchas

Trottinette, 2018
120 x 80 cm
Print

$1,795

Fabrice Rebeyrolle, Arbre inversé, Print

Fabrice Rebeyrolle

Arbre inversé, 2018
51 x 35 cm
Print

$766

Agnès Thurnauer, Biotope, Print

Agnès Thurnauer

Biotope, 2017
152.4 x 119.5 cm
Print

$2,393

Nicolas de Crécy, Corsica, Print

Nicolas de Crécy

Corsica, 2017
50.2 x 66.3 cm
Print

$479

La Robotte, Menacée n°1 - Reproduction digigraphie, Print

La Robotte

Menacée n°1 - Reproduction digigraphie, 2020
70 x 50 x 0.2 cm
Print

$598

Thomas Ott, Konstruktion - Dämon - Gewächs (triptyque), Print

Thomas Ott

Konstruktion - Dämon - Gewächs (triptyque), 2018
45 x 100.5 cm
Print

$718

Christophe Blain, Aline, Print

Christophe Blain

Aline, 2018
160 x 120 cm
Print

$2,393

David Prudhomme, Sans Titre (Mains positives, Mains négatives), Print

David Prudhomme

Sans Titre (Mains positives, Mains négatives), 2018
78 x 114 cm
Print

$1,197

Jacques Loustal, Route Côtière, Print

Jacques Loustal

Route Côtière, 2017
81 x 62.5 cm
Print

$359

Brecht Evens, Piscine des Rigoles, Print

Brecht Evens

Piscine des Rigoles, 2018
64 x 91.5 cm
Print

$658

Gilles Barbier, Banana Head, Print

Gilles Barbier

Banana Head, 2018
75 x 105 cm
Print

$1,795

Loulou Picasso, Ein Blick (Un Coup d'Œil), Print

Loulou Picasso

Ein Blick (Un Coup d'Œil), 2018
66.5 x 48.5 cm
Print

$479

Éric Lambé, 19m2 - triptyque, Print

Éric Lambé

19m2 - triptyque, 2017
45.3 x 123 cm
Print

$838

Stéphane Blanquet, Régulateur Altéré, Print

Stéphane Blanquet

Régulateur Altéré, 2016
63 x 94.5 cm
Print

$838

Lek, Estampe 2, Print

Lek

Estampe 2, 2017
30 x 30 cm
Print

$108

Pierre La Police, Tata, Print

Pierre La Police

Tata, 2018
61 x 90 cm
Print

$479

Yuichi Yokoyama, Sans Titre, Print

Yuichi Yokoyama

Sans Titre, 2018
42 x 31 cm
Print

$299

Art Spiegelman, Silent Six, Print

Art Spiegelman

Silent Six, 2018
79 x 100 cm
Print

$1,914

Pascal Rabaté, Paysage dans le Désordre (Suite), Print

Pascal Rabaté

Paysage dans le Désordre (Suite), 2018
51 x 146 cm
Print

$957

Patrice Killoffer, Première Pierre, Print

Patrice Killoffer

Première Pierre, 2017
71 x 87.2 cm
Print

$538

David Beauchard (David B.), Mon Grand-Père sur le Front, Print

David Beauchard (David B.)

Mon Grand-Père sur le Front, 2017
65 x 80 cm
Print

$658

Djamel Tatah, Sans Titre, Print

Djamel Tatah

Sans Titre, 2018
49 x 49 cm
Print

$957

Frédéric Poincelet, Chaussette, Print

Frédéric Poincelet

Chaussette, 2017
60.2 x 78.5 cm
Print

$538

Yves Duffour, Passe de muleta, Print

Yves Duffour

Passe de muleta, 2008
30 x 40 cm
Print

$60

Luciano Castelli, Revolving Litho, Print

Luciano Castelli

Revolving Litho, 2018
100 x 140 cm
Print

$3,590

Victor Spahn, 1998 Footballeurs, France Brésil, Print

Victor Spahn

1998 Footballeurs, France Brésil, 1998
73 x 54 x 0.3 cm
Print

$590 $1,071

Tibari Kantour, Sans titre III, Print

Tibari Kantour

Sans titre III, 2019
26 x 20 x 3 cm
Print

$215

Robert Sgarra, Carré Art Goldorak, Print

Robert Sgarra

Carré Art Goldorak, 2021
35.5 x 35.5 x 4 cm
Print

$359

Clara Castagné, Le monde, Print

Clara Castagné

Le monde, 2021
50 x 50 x 0.2 cm
Print

$132

Walter Barrientos, Hormiga Amoroso, Print

Walter Barrientos

Hormiga Amoroso, 2011
156 x 55 x 5 cm
Print

$1,496

Jacques Herold, Composition, Print

Jacques Herold

Composition, 1970
65.5 x 50 cm
Print

$479

Claudine Loquen, Aliénor d'Aquitaine et ses Filles, Print

Claudine Loquen

Aliénor d'Aquitaine et ses Filles, 2020
40 x 30 x 0.1 cm
Print

$120

Joerg Ortner, Tholos VI, Print

Joerg Ortner

Tholos VI, 1984
63 x 45 cm
Print

$1,077

Juan José Torralba, Bodegan, Print

Juan José Torralba

Bodegan, 1970
77 x 57 cm
Print

$718

Maxime Lhermet, Car box, Print

Maxime Lhermet

Car box, 2020
35 x 35 x 2 cm
Print

$790

Ërell, "K", Print

Ërell

"K", 2017
70 x 50 x 0.2 cm
Print

$503

Viza, Aux armes, Print

Viza

Aux armes, 2020
40 x 30 x 0.2 cm
Print

$191

Carme Serra Viaplana, Sin Titulo, Print

Carme Serra Viaplana

Sin Titulo, 1978
76 x 56 x 0.1 cm
Print

$479

Taheshi, Sans titre, Print

Taheshi

Sans titre, 2014
100 x 70 x 0.2 cm
Print

$431

Blaise Simon Balazs, 1987 Mains  Hands, Print

Blaise Simon Balazs

1987 Mains Hands, 1987
25 x 31.5 x 0.5 cm
Print

$1,017

Joseph Sima, Fragment 2, Print

Joseph Sima

Fragment 2, 1971
25 x 19 cm
Print

$957

Philippe Starck, Sans titre, Print

Philippe Starck

Sans titre, 1989
102 x 72 cm
Print

$1,149

Edival Ramosa, Géométrique 1, Print

Edival Ramosa

Géométrique 1, 1974
52 x 37 x 2 cm
Print

$706

Anna Laura Cartocci, Zebra, Print

Anna Laura Cartocci

Zebra, 2006
16.5 x 25 cm
Print

$120

Fabien Boitard, Sans titre, Print

Fabien Boitard

Sans titre, 2020
50 x 70 x 0.2 cm
Print

$165

Jeanine Belinska, Violons 1990 Violins, Print

Jeanine Belinska

Violons 1990 Violins, 1990
30 x 20 x 0.3 cm
Print

$1,071

Our recommendations Enrico Castellani, Multiplo 3, Print

Enrico Castellani

Multiplo 3, 2010
28 x 30 cm
Print

$7,167

Bernabé del Castillo, Geo, Print

Bernabé del Castillo

Geo, 2018
21 x 17 x 0.1 cm
Print

$598

Joze Ciuha, La Dame de Pique The Queen of Spades, Print

Joze Ciuha

La Dame de Pique The Queen of Spades, 1979
69.5 x 100 x 0.5 cm
Print

$2,333

Moon Shin, Bleue 1977 Blue, Print

Moon Shin

Bleue 1977 Blue, 1977
75 x 50 x 0.3 cm
Print

$1,137

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