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Ukiyo-e - Images from the Floating World

Japan, Edo Period (1600s to 1867)


Ukiyo-e (pronounced oo-kee-oh-ay) was a popular form of printed art in Japan during the Edo period, inexpensive and usually depicting scenes from everyday life.

Ukiyo translates as "the floating world" - an ironic wordplay on the Buddhist name for the earthly plane, "the sorrowful world". Ukiyo was the name given to the lifestyle in Japan's urban centers of this period - the fashions, the entertainments, and the pleasures of the flesh. Ukiyo-e is the art documenting this era.

Ukiyo-e is especially known for its exceptional woodblock prints. After Japan opened trade with the West after 1867, these prints became very well-known and influential in Europea, especially in France. Japonisme influenced such artists as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh, Whistler and the graphic artists known as Les Nabis.

The founder of the Ukiyo-e school was the 17th-century artist Hishikawa Moronobu. Among the many famous artists who followed were Ando Hiroshige, Hokusai Katsukika, Kitagawa Utamaro and Toshusai Sharaku.

        

 
 
Chronological Listing of Ukiyo-e Artists
 
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Hishikawa Moronobu 1618-1694 Japanese Printmaker/Painter 
Kiyonobu 1664-1729 Japanese PrintmakerWoman Carrying Bamboo with Charms
Art Prints
Sukenobu 1671-1751 Japanese Printmaker 
Sugimura Jihei 1681-1703 Japanese Printmaker 
Okumura Masanobu 1686-1764 Japanese PrintmakerInterior of a kabuki theatre
Art Prints
Torii Kiyomasu 1697-1722 Japanese Printmaker 
Nishimura Shigenaga 1697-1756 Japanese PrintmakerSawamura Sojuro I and Ichimura Takenojo
Art Prints
Kaigetsudo Anchi 1700-1716 Japanese Printmaker 
Kaigetsudo Dohan 1710-1720 Japanese Printmaker 
Harunobu 1724-1770 Japanese PrintmakerA Young Couple Catching Fireflies At Night
Art Prints
Katsukawa Shunso 1726-1792 Japanese PrintmakerThe Wrestler Onogawa Kisaburo
Art Prints
Hasegawa Mitsunobu 1730-1760 Japanese Printmaker 
Torii Kiyomitsu 1735-1785 Japanese PrintmakerThe Celebrated Actor Tomedjuro Nakamura
Art Prints
Utagawa Toyoharu 1735-1814 Japanese PrintmakerUtagawa Toyoharu: Winter Party
Art Prints
Shigemasa 1739-1820 Japanese Printmaker 
Suzuki Harushige 1747-1818 Japanese Printmaker 
Kabukido Enkyo 1749-1803 Japanese PrintmakerPortrait of Nakayama Tomisaburo
Art Prints
Kiyonaga 1752-1815 Japanese PrintmakerWomen of the Gay Quarters
Art Prints
Kitagawa Utamaro 1754-1806 Japanese PrintmakerYama-Uba and Kintoki
Art Prints
Chobunsai Eishi 1756-1829 Japanese PrintmakerSeated Woman Reading
Art Prints
Torii Kiyotsune 1757-1780 Japanese Printmaker 
Hokusai Katsushika 1760-1849 Japanese PrintmakerHokusai Katsushika: Great Wave
Art Prints
Katsukawa Shun'ei 1762-1819 Japanese PrintmakerA Triptych Of A Wrestling Bout
Art Prints
Katsukawa Shunsen 1762-1830 Japanese PrintmakerNakamura, Utaemon, the Actor, as Kato Kiyomasa
Art Prints
Koryusai 1764-1788 Japanese PrintmakerTwo Women
Art Prints
Kitao Masayoshi 1764-1824 Japanese Printmaker 
Toyokuni 1769-1825 Japanese PrintmakerThe Actor Ichikawa Yaozo III
Art Prints
Toshusai Sharaku 1770-1825 Japanese PrintmakerThe Actors Nakajima Wadaemon and Nakamura Konozo
Art Prints
Kunimasa 1773-1810 Japanese PrintmakerThe Actor Nakamura Noshio II
Art Prints
Utagawa Toyokuni II 1777-1835 Japanese PrintmakerInterior of a Theatre
Art Prints
Totoya Hokkei 1780-1850 Japanese PrintmakerChinese Courtesan Yang Guifei Meeting Luo Gongyuan
Art Prints
Shuncho 1780-1795 Japanese Printmaker 
Katsukawa Shunzan 1782-1798 Japanese Printmaker 
Utagawa Kunisada 1786-1864 Japanese PrintmakerWoman Surrounded by Calligraphy
Art Prints
Kikugawa Eizan 1787-1867 Japanese PrintmakerThe Poet Sei Shonagon as a Courtesan
Art Prints
Eishosai Choki 1789-1795 Japanese Printmaker 
Chokosai Eisho 1790-1799 Japanese PrintmakerA Manservant Clearing The Geta Of A Beauty On A Winters Day
Art Prints
Ichirakutei Eisui 1790-1823 Japanese Printmaker 
Keisai Eisen 1790-1848 Japanese PrintmakerOiwake Station, A View Of Mount Asama
Art Prints
Choensai Eishin 1795-1810 Japanese Printmaker 
Hanbei Shokosai 1795-1809 Japanese Printmaker 
Ando Hiroshige 1797-1858 Japanese PrintmakerTsubo Plain at Susaki
Art Prints
Utagawa Kuniyoshi 1797-1861 Japanese PrintmakerMitsukini Defying the Skeleton Spectre
Art Prints
Yurakusai Nagahide 1799-1842 Japanese Printmaker 
Bunro 1800-1804 Japanese Printmaker 
Hirosada 1810-1864 Japanese Printmaker 
Utagawa Kunihiro 1815-1843 Japanese Printmaker 
Soseki 1822-1877 Japanese Printmaker 
Ichieisai Yoshitsuya I 1822-1866 Japanese Printmaker 
Yanagawa Shigenobu II 1824-1860 Japanese Printmaker 
Hiroshige II 1826-1869 Japanese PrintmakerHiroshige II: Cherry Blossoms
Art Prints
Hokuei 1827-1837 Japanese Printmaker 
Yoshifuji 1828-1887 Japanese Printmaker 
Kunimasu 1834-1852 Japanese Printmaker 
Kunichika 1835-1900 Japanese Printmaker 
Rakkaken Yoshiyuki 1835-1879 Japanese Printmaker 
Tsukioka Yoshitoshi 1839-1892 Japanese PrintmakerFujiwara No Yasumasa Playing the Flute by Moonlight
Art Prints
Nakai Yoshitaki 1841-1899 Japanese Printmaker 
Fusatane 1849-1870 Japanese PrintmakerOne of the Eight Views of Lake Biwa
Art Prints
Kunikazu 1849-1867 Japanese Printmaker 
Utagawa Yoshitora 1850-1880 Japanese Printmaker 
Enjaku 1857-1865 Japanese Printmaker 
Adachi Ginko 1874-1897 Japanese PrintmakerHeike Monogatari
Art Prints
Hashiguchi Goyo 1880-1921 Japanese PrintmakerA Young Woman Leaning On A Balcony Railing
Art Prints

 
 
 




 
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