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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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Alick Tipoti, Koedalal ar Sapural, Print

Alick Tipoti

Koedalal ar Sapural, 2006
19.7 x 27.6 x 0 inch
Print

$1,928

Sol LeWitt, Forms Derived From a Cube, Print

Sol LeWitt

Forms Derived From a Cube, 1964
20.5 x 20.5 inch
Print

$7,955

Utagawa Kunisada Toyokuni III, Acteur Actor, Print

Utagawa Kunisada Toyokuni III

Acteur Actor, 1901
13 x 9.1 inch
Print

$1,025

Our recommendations Wolfgang Seuther, 1952 Animaux surréalistes, Print

Wolfgang Seuther

1952 Animaux surréalistes, 1952
8.3 x 11.8 inch
Print

$1,145

Song Jiha, 1987 Le Tigre et le Sage, Print

Song Jiha

1987 Le Tigre et le Sage, 1987
40.2 x 32.3 inch
Print

$3,556

Katsunori Hamanishi, 1987 PLAY VII Ropes Branches Cordes, Print

Katsunori Hamanishi

1987 PLAY VII Ropes Branches Cordes, 1987
9.4 x 7.9 inch
Print

$3,556

Monique Dezès, Tour de France, Print

Monique Dezès

Tour de France, 2021
11.4 x 7.9 x 0.1 inch
Print

$229

Corneille, Le seigneur de la savane, Print

Corneille

Le seigneur de la savane, 1997
18.9 x 14.2 inch
Print

$362

Jo Di Bona, Alone 80, Print

Jo Di Bona

Alone 80, 2019
7.9 x 7.9 inch
Print

Sold

Zenoy, Estampe rehaussée, Print

Zenoy

Estampe rehaussée, 2017
27.6 x 27.6 inch
Print

$832

François Avril, Bretagne - Vert, Print

François Avril

Bretagne - Vert, 2018
25.2 x 35.6 inch
Print

$542

Jacques Monory, Meurtre n°5, Print

Jacques Monory

Meurtre n°5, 2014
35.2 x 23.6 inch
Print

$410

Barthélémy Toguo, Blowing Headache, Print

Barthélémy Toguo

Blowing Headache, 2017
27.6 x 33.5 inch
Print

$1,085

Bernar Venet, Grib, Print

Bernar Venet

Grib, 2016
11 x 15.2 x 0.4 inch
Print

$3,616

Jacques Loustal, Route Côtière, Print

Jacques Loustal

Route Côtière, 2017
31.9 x 24.6 inch
Print

$362

Alain Séchas, Trottinette, Print

Alain Séchas

Trottinette, 2018
47.2 x 31.5 inch
Print

$1,808

Clara Castagné, Le monde, Print

Clara Castagné

Le monde, 2021
19.7 x 19.7 x 0.1 inch
Print

$133

Pierre La Police, Tata, Print

Pierre La Police

Tata, 2018
24 x 35.4 inch
Print

$482

Damien Deroubaix, The Rat Race (noir et rouge), Print

Damien Deroubaix

The Rat Race (noir et rouge), 2017
47.2 x 63 inch
Print

$2,170

Winshluss, Over the Rainbow, Print

Winshluss

Over the Rainbow, 2018
47.2 x 31.5 inch
Print

$1,808

Brecht Evens, Piscine des Rigoles, Print

Brecht Evens

Piscine des Rigoles, 2018
25.2 x 36 inch
Print

$663

James Rielly, No Home, Print

James Rielly

No Home, 2017
35.4 x 25.5 inch
Print

$603

Éric Lambé, 19m2, Print

Éric Lambé

19m2, 2017
17.1 x 16.1 inch
Print

$301

Yuichi Yokoyama, Sans Titre, Print

Yuichi Yokoyama

Sans Titre, 2018
16.5 x 12.2 inch
Print

$301

Art Spiegelman, Silent Six, Print

Art Spiegelman

Silent Six, 2018
31.1 x 39.4 inch
Print

$1,928

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

Thomas Ott

Konstruktion - Dämon - Gewächs (triptyque), 2018
17.7 x 39.6 inch
Print

$723

Lorenzo Mattotti, Tiepolo 1 (La Danse), Print

Lorenzo Mattotti

Tiepolo 1 (La Danse), 2016
29.7 x 41.7 inch
Print

$482

Christophe Blain, Aline, Print

Christophe Blain

Aline, 2018
63 x 47.2 inch
Print

$2,411

Pascal Rabaté, Paysage dans le Désordre, Print

Pascal Rabaté

Paysage dans le Désordre, 2018
20.1 x 14.4 inch
Print

$301

Gilles Barbier, Banana Head, Print

Gilles Barbier

Banana Head, 2018
29.5 x 41.3 inch
Print

$1,808

Fabrice Rebeyrolle, Arbre inversé, Print

Fabrice Rebeyrolle

Arbre inversé, 2018
20.1 x 13.8 inch
Print

$771

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

Loulou Picasso

Ein Blick (Un Coup d'Œil), 2018
26.2 x 19.1 inch
Print

$482

Hugues Micol, La Pandilla, Print

Hugues Micol

La Pandilla, 2018
19.8 x 21.7 inch
Print

$301

Stéphane Blanquet, Régulateur Altéré, Print

Stéphane Blanquet

Régulateur Altéré, 2016
24.8 x 37.2 inch
Print

$844

Ërell, "K", Print

Ërell

"K", 2017
27.6 x 19.7 x 0.1 inch
Print

$506

Agnès Thurnauer, Biotope, Print

Agnès Thurnauer

Biotope, 2017
60 x 47 inch
Print

$2,411

Nicolas de Crécy, Corsica, Print

Nicolas de Crécy

Corsica, 2017
19.8 x 26.1 inch
Print

$482

Pakito Bolino, Nicktendo-SS, Print

Pakito Bolino

Nicktendo-SS, 2009
25.6 x 17.7 x 0.1 inch
Print

$333

Maxime Lhermet, Car box, Print

Maxime Lhermet

Car box, 2020
13.8 x 13.8 x 0.8 inch
Print

$796

Taheshi, Sans titre, Print

Taheshi

Sans titre, 2014
39.4 x 27.6 x 0.1 inch
Print

$434

Walter Barrientos, Hormiga Amoroso, Print

Walter Barrientos

Hormiga Amoroso, 2011
61.4 x 21.7 x 2 inch
Print

$1,507

Patrice Killoffer, Première Pierre, Print

Patrice Killoffer

Première Pierre, 2017
28 x 34.3 inch
Print

$542

Lek, Estampe 1, Print

Lek

Estampe 1, 2017
11.8 x 11.8 inch
Print

$108

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

David Prudhomme

Sans Titre (Mains positives, Mains négatives), 2018
30.7 x 44.9 inch
Print

$1,205

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

David Beauchard (David B.)

Mon Grand-Père sur le Front, 2017
25.6 x 31.5 inch
Print

$663

Djamel Tatah, Sans Titre, Print

Djamel Tatah

Sans Titre, 2018
19.3 x 19.3 inch
Print

$964

Frédéric Poincelet, Chaussette, Print

Frédéric Poincelet

Chaussette, 2017
23.7 x 30.9 inch
Print

$542

Jochen Gerner, Spreekwoorden, Print

Jochen Gerner

Spreekwoorden, 2017
17.3 x 19.8 inch
Print

$362

Bruno Peinado, Sans titre, Print

Bruno Peinado

Sans titre, 2020
14.8 x 43.3 inch
Print

$482

Michelangelo Pistoletto, Self Portrait, Print

Michelangelo Pistoletto

Self Portrait, 1995
11.4 x 8.3 x 0.2 inch
Print

$3,495

Luciano Castelli, Revolving Litho, Print

Luciano Castelli

Revolving Litho, 2018
39.4 x 55.1 inch
Print

$3,616

François Righi, Séparation, n°13/25, Print

François Righi

Séparation, n°13/25, 2019
13 x 12.4 inch
Print

$796

Al Sticking, Ave, Print

Al Sticking

Ave, 2019
27.6 x 19.7 x 0.1 inch
Print

$174

Fabien Boitard, Sans titre, Print

Fabien Boitard

Sans titre, 2020
19.7 x 27.6 x 0.1 inch
Print

$166

Victor Spahn, 1998 Footballeurs, France Brésil, Print

Victor Spahn

1998 Footballeurs, France Brésil, 1998
28.7 x 21.3 x 0.1 inch
Print

$917 $1,079

Jean-Louis Toutain, Sous le réverbère, Print

Jean-Louis Toutain

Sous le réverbère, 2019
22 x 15 inch
Print

$663

Josep Guinovart, Sans titre 5, Print

Josep Guinovart

Sans titre 5, 1982
29.9 x 22 x 0 inch
Print

$542

Philippe Starck, Sans titre, Print

Philippe Starck

Sans titre, 1989
40.2 x 28.3 inch
Print

$1,157

Krzysztof Wieczorek, Nocturn or travelling by night, Print

Krzysztof Wieczorek

Nocturn or travelling by night, 2013
15.7 x 19.7 inch
Print

$1,085

Anna Laura Cartocci, Zebra, Print

Anna Laura Cartocci

Zebra, 2006
6.5 x 9.8 inch
Print

$121

Jacques Herold, Composition, Print

Jacques Herold

Composition, 1970
25.8 x 19.7 inch
Print

$482

Miquel Wert, Kick off, Print

Miquel Wert

Kick off, 2015
7.1 x 7.1 inch
Print

$121

Juan José Torralba, Bodegan, Print

Juan José Torralba

Bodegan, 1970
30.3 x 22.4 inch
Print

$723

Viza, Aux armes, Print

Viza

Aux armes, 2020
15.7 x 11.8 x 0.1 inch
Print

$193

60 Artworks on 547

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