Antique Japanese Prints
Traditional Japanese art can be divided into several different categories based on chronological era, and you might want to choose a specific era to collect from. Ukiyo-e Japanese woodblock prints from the 18th century will look drastically different from art created during the Sh_wa era, for example. You might also want to pick a favorite Japanese artist when you start to build your collection.How can you identify Japanese woodblock prints as Ukiyo-e descendants?
A number of 20th century Japanese artists are known for painting images based on more traditional Japanese woodblock prints. These antique paintings first started to go on sale around the time of the First World War. Each of these artists offers a unique point of view that can identify them as a descendant of the older Japanese Ukiyo-e movement. Look for the following traits:
- Kawase Hasui-sensei's shin-hanga prints feature a combination of vibrant colors and seasonal subject matter.
- Hashiguchi Goy_ made Taish_ woodblock prints that feature pale women.
- Onchi K_shir_'s work resembles traditional Japanese woodblock prints because of the lack of noticeable strokes.
- Watanabe Sh_zabur_ used watercolors and then reproduced woodblock prints from them.
Hiroshige mimicked the traditional 36 views of Mount Fuji although he had a much more ambient point of view when painting. Shinsui It_ had a similar point of view to both Hiroshige and Hokusai, which make his antique woodblock prints common among collectors. Kobayashi Keisei, a professor at Tamabi, continued to produce Japanese prints featuring those points of view well into the Heisei period.Do the kabuki actors in antique Japanese prints represent real actors?
Japanese artists have long used actual kabuki performers for subject matter when making woodblock print art. Most of the individuals you see in an average antique Japanese woodblock print will have been real performers at one point in their careers. Japanese stage artists often used the names of those who trained them, and these names are almost always recorded on Japanese woodblock prints.Are antique sosaku-hanga paintings Japanese woodblock prints?
Even though woodblock prints done in the sosaku-hanga style don't look like other paintings, collectors in Japan would put these right alongside any other in the gallery for viewing. If you enjoy collecting sosaku-hanga work, then you'll find unique points of view on Japanese prints that go back for well over a century. Woodblock prints made by those in this art movement stress individual self-expression.How do you preserve Japanese prints?
Care instructions for woodblock prints are like those for any other style of art. Make sure that the front and back of the mount feature genuine museum board. If you get your Japanese prints wet, then make sure to lay them on blotting paper. Don't ever use a heat source to clean them up.