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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


Sol LeWitt, Forms Derived From a Cube, Print

Sol LeWitt

Forms Derived From a Cube, 1964
20.5 x 20.5 inch


Utagawa Kunisada Toyokuni III, Acteur Actor, Print

Utagawa Kunisada Toyokuni III

Acteur Actor, 1901
13 x 9.1 inch


Our recommendations Wolfgang Seuther, 1952 Animaux surréalistes, Print

Wolfgang Seuther

1952 Animaux surréalistes, 1952
8.3 x 11.8 inch


Song Jiha, 1987 Le Tigre et le Sage, Print

Song Jiha

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


Katsunori Hamanishi, 1987 PLAY VII Ropes Branches Cordes, Print

Katsunori Hamanishi

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


Monique Dezès, Tour de France, Print

Monique Dezès

Tour de France, 2021
11.4 x 7.9 x 0.1 inch


Corneille, Le seigneur de la savane, Print


Le seigneur de la savane, 1997
18.9 x 14.2 inch


Jo Di Bona, Alone 80, Print

Jo Di Bona

Alone 80, 2019
7.9 x 7.9 inch


Zenoy, Estampe rehaussée, Print


Estampe rehaussée, 2017
27.6 x 27.6 inch


François Avril, Bretagne - Vert, Print

François Avril

Bretagne - Vert, 2018
25.2 x 35.6 inch


Jacques Monory, Meurtre n°5, Print

Jacques Monory

Meurtre n°5, 2014
35.2 x 23.6 inch


Barthélémy Toguo, Blowing Headache, Print

Barthélémy Toguo

Blowing Headache, 2017
27.6 x 33.5 inch


Bernar Venet, Grib, Print

Bernar Venet

Grib, 2016
11 x 15.2 x 0.4 inch


Jacques Loustal, Route Côtière, Print

Jacques Loustal

Route Côtière, 2017
31.9 x 24.6 inch


Alain Séchas, Trottinette, Print

Alain Séchas

Trottinette, 2018
47.2 x 31.5 inch


Clara Castagné, Le monde, Print

Clara Castagné

Le monde, 2021
19.7 x 19.7 x 0.1 inch


Pierre La Police, Tata, Print

Pierre La Police

Tata, 2018
24 x 35.4 inch


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

Damien Deroubaix

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


Winshluss, Over the Rainbow, Print


Over the Rainbow, 2018
47.2 x 31.5 inch


Brecht Evens, Piscine des Rigoles, Print

Brecht Evens

Piscine des Rigoles, 2018
25.2 x 36 inch


James Rielly, No Home, Print

James Rielly

No Home, 2017
35.4 x 25.5 inch


Éric Lambé, 19m2, Print

Éric Lambé

19m2, 2017
17.1 x 16.1 inch


Yuichi Yokoyama, Sans Titre, Print

Yuichi Yokoyama

Sans Titre, 2018
16.5 x 12.2 inch


Art Spiegelman, Silent Six, Print

Art Spiegelman

Silent Six, 2018
31.1 x 39.4 inch


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

Thomas Ott

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


Lorenzo Mattotti, Tiepolo 1 (La Danse), Print

Lorenzo Mattotti

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


Christophe Blain, Aline, Print

Christophe Blain

Aline, 2018
63 x 47.2 inch


Pascal Rabaté, Paysage dans le Désordre, Print

Pascal Rabaté

Paysage dans le Désordre, 2018
20.1 x 14.4 inch


Gilles Barbier, Banana Head, Print

Gilles Barbier

Banana Head, 2018
29.5 x 41.3 inch


Fabrice Rebeyrolle, Arbre inversé, Print

Fabrice Rebeyrolle

Arbre inversé, 2018
20.1 x 13.8 inch


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

Loulou Picasso

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


Hugues Micol, La Pandilla, Print

Hugues Micol

La Pandilla, 2018
19.8 x 21.7 inch


Stéphane Blanquet, Régulateur Altéré, Print

Stéphane Blanquet

Régulateur Altéré, 2016
24.8 x 37.2 inch


Ërell, "K", Print


"K", 2017
27.6 x 19.7 x 0.1 inch


Agnès Thurnauer, Biotope, Print

Agnès Thurnauer

Biotope, 2017
60 x 47 inch


Nicolas de Crécy, Corsica, Print

Nicolas de Crécy

Corsica, 2017
19.8 x 26.1 inch


Pakito Bolino, Nicktendo-SS, Print

Pakito Bolino

Nicktendo-SS, 2009
25.6 x 17.7 x 0.1 inch


Maxime Lhermet, Car box, Print

Maxime Lhermet

Car box, 2020
13.8 x 13.8 x 0.8 inch


Taheshi, Sans titre, Print


Sans titre, 2014
39.4 x 27.6 x 0.1 inch


Walter Barrientos, Hormiga Amoroso, Print

Walter Barrientos

Hormiga Amoroso, 2011
61.4 x 21.7 x 2 inch


Patrice Killoffer, Première Pierre, Print

Patrice Killoffer

Première Pierre, 2017
28 x 34.3 inch


Lek, Estampe 1, Print


Estampe 1, 2017
11.8 x 11.8 inch


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

David Prudhomme

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


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


Djamel Tatah, Sans Titre, Print

Djamel Tatah

Sans Titre, 2018
19.3 x 19.3 inch


Frédéric Poincelet, Chaussette, Print

Frédéric Poincelet

Chaussette, 2017
23.7 x 30.9 inch


Jochen Gerner, Spreekwoorden, Print

Jochen Gerner

Spreekwoorden, 2017
17.3 x 19.8 inch


Bruno Peinado, Sans titre, Print

Bruno Peinado

Sans titre, 2020
14.8 x 43.3 inch


Michelangelo Pistoletto, Self Portrait, Print

Michelangelo Pistoletto

Self Portrait, 1995
11.4 x 8.3 x 0.2 inch


Luciano Castelli, Revolving Litho, Print

Luciano Castelli

Revolving Litho, 2018
39.4 x 55.1 inch


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

François Righi

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


Al Sticking, Ave, Print

Al Sticking

Ave, 2019
27.6 x 19.7 x 0.1 inch


Fabien Boitard, Sans titre, Print

Fabien Boitard

Sans titre, 2020
19.7 x 27.6 x 0.1 inch


Victor Spahn, 1998 Footballeurs, France Brésil, Print

Victor Spahn

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

$917 $1,079

Jean-Louis Toutain, Sous le réverbère, Print

Jean-Louis Toutain

Sous le réverbère, 2019
22 x 15 inch


Josep Guinovart, Sans titre 5, Print

Josep Guinovart

Sans titre 5, 1982
29.9 x 22 x 0 inch


Philippe Starck, Sans titre, Print

Philippe Starck

Sans titre, 1989
40.2 x 28.3 inch


Krzysztof Wieczorek, Nocturn or travelling by night, Print

Krzysztof Wieczorek

Nocturn or travelling by night, 2013
15.7 x 19.7 inch


Anna Laura Cartocci, Zebra, Print

Anna Laura Cartocci

Zebra, 2006
6.5 x 9.8 inch


Jacques Herold, Composition, Print

Jacques Herold

Composition, 1970
25.8 x 19.7 inch


Miquel Wert, Kick off, Print

Miquel Wert

Kick off, 2015
7.1 x 7.1 inch


Juan José Torralba, Bodegan, Print

Juan José Torralba

Bodegan, 1970
30.3 x 22.4 inch


Viza, Aux armes, Print


Aux armes, 2020
15.7 x 11.8 x 0.1 inch


60 Artworks on 547

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