Starting in the early 1700s and exploding in popularity throughout the 1800s, Japanese woodblock prints depicted the fantastic world of Kabuki actors
, and nature
. Ever since then keeping track of all of the incredible artwork has been a pain, traipsing between dealer and museum websites, awkwardly shuffling through academic library 'websites', wandering aimlessly through GIS, not to mention all the trouble a patron had to go through to see these before
the Internets. Well, The Japanese Woodblock Print Database
aggregates prints from a number of museums, dealers, and auction houses into a single resource, searchable by keyword and by image, and thereby provides a shining example of web-accessible art database interface. Enjoy! [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by carsonb
on Jan 7, 2013 -
"In November 1855, the Great Ansei Earthquake struck the city of Edo (now Tokyo), claiming 7,000 lives and inflicting widespread damage. Within days, a new type of color woodblock print known as namazu-e (lit. "catfish pictures")
became popular among the residents of the shaken city. These prints featured depictions of mythical giant catfish (namazu) who, according to popular legend, caused earthquakes by thrashing about in their underground lairs. In addition to providing humor and social commentary, many prints claimed to offer protection from future earthquakes."
posted by madamjujujive
on Apr 8, 2011 -
is a Seattle businessman and artist who operates a local gift shop. Both his home and his shop have garnered positive press,
but his greatest artistic achievement may be his piece entitled 1,000 blocks
, which explores the permutations of the six facets of the cube.
posted by Tube
on Dec 21, 2008 -
The art of Meiji mayhem. 'Graphic true stories from Japan as portrayed and reported by woodblock artists and writers '
posted by plep
on Aug 12, 2005 -
- a great woodcut artist, pioneer of the wordless novel
. You can see all of his 1925 Die Stadt (The City)
and Landscapes and Voices
(1929) at Graphic Witness
(Though his Passionate Journey
is one of my favorite books.)
"First published in Germany in 1925 The City is a portrait of urban Europe between the wars, told in one hundred woodcuts of exceptional force and beauty. Frans Masereel portrays parks and factories, shipyards and brothels, crowds, lovers, and lonely individuals with remarkable subtlety and nuance while exploiting the stark contrast of the woodcut medium.
posted by vacapinta
on Aug 21, 2002 -
Look no further than John Fiorillo's Viewing of Japanese Prints
for the definitive online resource on the art. Covering over three centuries of Japanese print making from Ukiyo-e
through Shin Hanga
and Sôsaku Hanga
has detailed histories and critiques of the artists, including such legendary masters as Katsushika Hokusai
. The site also includes a wealth of information on the artform itself, with essays on topics as varied as the deciphering of prints
and the various forms of poetry found on them
, as well as archival notes on print fading
. Have a question for the man himself? Shogun Gallery's discussion board
is one of his favorite haunts, where he helps users with questions ranging from signature identification to the allusions found within a specific print. Given the wealth of information and beauty of the work, this site's a treasure.
posted by J. R. Hughto
on Jul 31, 2002 -
"To this day, the illustrations march right off the page"
describes a rare book published in 1493 found in a Maine farmhouse. The book is illustrated with more than 1,800 exquisite pictures made from woodcuts. Where will they find my rare digital photo in 500 years and will they say "it marches off the CD-ROM" or "data-error.. should have used wood block"
posted by stbalbach
on Mar 10, 2002 -