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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.

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facet,11997*​New \u0026 remarkable Artists|icon-new-remarquable-artists*new-remarquable-artists facet,11997*Nouveaux artistes à découvrir|icon-new-remarquable-artists*nouveaux-artistes-a-decouvrir facet,11997*Neue bemerkenswerte Künstler|icon-new-remarquable-artists*neue-bemerkenswerte-kunstler facet,11997*Artistas nuevos y destacados|icon-new-remarquable-artists*artistas-nuevos-y-destacados facet,8277*Grand (\u003c 200 x 200 cm)|large*grand category,5*Skulpturen*skulptur category,5*Escultura*escultura category,5*Sculpture*sculpture facet,1686*Pop Art*pop-art facet,1686*Arte pop*arte-pop facet,1686*Pop-Art*pop-art category,9*Photography*photography category,9*Photographie*photographie category,9*Fotografien*fotografie category,9*Fotografía*fotografia facet,8277*Large (\u003c 80 x 80 inch)|large*large facet,8277*Large (\u003c 200 x 200 cm)|large*large facet,1644*Portrait*portrait facet,1644*Porträt*portrat facet,1644*Retrato*retrato facet,8301*Oeuvres en promotion|icon-promotions*promotions facet,8301*Special offers|icon-promotions*promotions facet,8301*Special Offers|icon-promotions*vergunstigte-werke facet,8301*Trabajos en promoción|icon-promotions*trabajos-en-promocion facet,1671*Paysage*nature facet,1671*Natur*natur facet,1671*Landscape*nature facet,1671*Naturaleza*naturaleza category,15*Drucke*editionen category,15*Edition*edition category,15*Print*print category,15*Edición*edicion category,23*Fine Art Drawings*drawing category,23*Zeichnungen*zeichnung category,23*Dessin*dessin category,23*Dibujo*dibujo facet,11697*Figurativ*figurativ facet,11697*Figurative*figurative facet,11697*Figuratif*figuratif facet,11697*Figurativo*figurativo facet,1641*Nus*nus facet,1641*Nude*nude facet,1641*Akt*akte facet,1641*desnudos*desnudos facet,8274*Medium (\u003c 45 x 45 inch)|medium*medium facet,8274*Medium (\u003c 115 x 115 cm)|medium*medium facet,1830*Landscape|landscape*orientation-landscape facet,1830*Paysage|landscape*orientation-paysage facet,1830*Landschaft|landscape*orientation-landschaft facet,1830*Paisaje|landscape*orientation-paisaje facet,8280*Très grand (\u003e 200 x 200 cm)|very-large*tres-grand facet,1674*Escena de la vida*escena-de-la-vida facet,1674*Everyday life*everyday-life facet,1674*Alltagsszenen*alltagsszenen facet,1674*Scène de vie*scene-de-vie facet,1827*Portrait|portrait*orientation-portrait facet,1827*Hochformat|portrait*orientation-portrat facet,1827*Retrato|portrait*orientation-retrato facet,1680*Animaux*animaux facet,1680*Animal*animal facet,1680*Tiere*tiere facet,1680*Animales*animales price,50001 facet,8271*Petit (\u003c 50 x 50 cm)|small*petit price,1000:501 facet,1668*Black and white*black-and-white facet,1668*Noir et blanc*noir-et-blanc facet,1668*Schwarz und weiß*schwarz-und-weiss facet,1659*Flore*flore facet,1659*Flora*flora facet,1659*Floral*floral facet,1659*Flores*flores facet,11634*Pop Culture Street Artists*pop-culture-street-artists facet,11634*Pop culture 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