Grab your 3D Anaglyph Glasses

to Experience a Wonderful Journey into

The Floating World of UKIYO-E

Live only for the moment and turn your full attention to the pleasures of the moon, the snow, the cherry blossoms and the maple leaves; sing songs, drink wine, and divert yourself into floating;

like a gourd floating along with the river current. This is what we call the floating world.

Asai Ryōi   

Ukiyo-e is a genre of Japanese woodblock prints and paintings produced between the 17th and the 20th centuries, featuring motifs of landscapes, tales from history, the theatre, and pleasure quarters.

The word ukiyo is literally translated as "floating world" in English, referring to a conception of an evanescent world, impermanent, fleeting beauty and a realm of entertainments (kabuki, courtesans, geisha).

Ukiyo-e was a major source of inspiration for Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists, such as Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and others. This influence has been called Japonisme.

Vincent Van Gogh was an avid collector of Ukiyo-e, amassing with his brother a collection of several hundred prints. This collection included works from The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō, and Van Gogh incorporated stylistic elements from his collection into his own work, such as bright colors, natural details, and unconventional perspectives. In his personal correspondence, he stated, "...all of my work is founded on Japanese art...", and described the Impressionists as "the Japanese of France."

Visit Wikipedia, to learn more about Ukioy-e.

Katsushika Hokusai (1760 - 1849) is considered the greatest Ukiyo-e painter and printmaker of the Edo period. Hokusai is best-known as author of the woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji which includes the internationally recognized print, "The Great Wave off Kanagawa," created during the 1820s which made famous in Japan and overseas and left a lasting impact on the art world. Site with almost 3000 high-quality images of Hokusai prints at: Visipix

Hokusai created the "Thirty-Six Views" both as a response to a domestic travel boom and as part of a personal obsession with Mount Fuji. It was this series, specifically The Great Wave print and Fuji in Clear Weather, that secured HokusaiÕs fame both within Japan and overseas. The Great Wave print that initially received, and continues to receive, acclaim and popularity in the Western world.

Utagawa Hiroshige (1797 - 1858), also refered as Ando Hiroshige, was the second of the two great masters of the Japanese landscape woodblock print, after Hokusai. Many of his best and most famous images feature snow and rain; which has led to his becoming know as "the artist of rain, snow and mist".

His "One Hundred Famous Views of Edo" series of ukiyo-e prints was tremendously popular.

Free source of information and pictures at: The Woodblock Prints of Adno Hiroshige.

Torii Kiyonaga (1752 - 1815) was a Japanese Ukiyo-e printmaker and painter; he is considered one of the great masters of the full-color print and of Bijinga (images of courtesans and beautiful women). Many number of his prints and paintings depicted Kabuki actors and related subjects. He also produced a number of Shunga (erotic images).

Toyohara Chikanobu (1838 - 1912) was a prolific woodblock artist of Japan's Meiji period and known as a master of Bijinga. Favorite subjects of Chikanobu were historical and mythological legends and histories from Japan's past and genre scenes with women and children.

You may find a large collection of Chikanobu's prints at Wikipedia.

One Hundred Famous Views of Edo
Part One

Copyright © April 2011