Ukiyo-e Essay

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Ukiyo-e Ukiyo-e is the name given to one of the most important art forms in all of Japan. Arriving as a new form of art in the 1700's these prints served as a record of daily life and pleasures in a newly wealthy Japanese society. The Japanese themselves had long regarded pleasure as transient because of their Buddhist heratige, because of this the word Ukiyo-e actually means "pictures of the floating world". These prints were truly art which reflected the whims of the masses. They record popular styles of dress, new hairstyles etc. They also record the popular Kabuki theater actors, the most beautiful geisha's (or prostitutes), and later even landscapes. Within the realm of Ukiyo-e there are many masters, but there is one master,…show more content…
This traditionally formatted book was the first set of prints to give Utamaro some noteriety. After a few similar books, Utamaro began to develop his figurative style even more. He elongated the figures in his prints and drew the heads more oveal rather than circular. It is at this time that his talent for arranging and relating figures began to take shape (Hiller 42). By 1792, Uatamaro embarked upon the subject to which he would devote the rest of his life. His dipictions of the geisha's would be amoung the most well known Japanese prints of all time. One of the most incredible series Utamaro undertook at this time was the half-length self portrait series. Traditionally a figure was portrayed as a full length figure, but these intimite prints of simply patterned cloth and plain backrounds read almost like personal portraits, a concept very new in Japanese printmaking. Soon after the half-length portrait series Utamaro embarked upon two other great sets of prints-- "The types of women's Phisiognomies" and " The Ten Learned Studies of Women". These two sets of prints had the smoewhat portraiture feeling of the half-length portraits. In addition Utamaro experimented with using mica as a reflective backround surface. Amoung these series is alsot the print, " Women Preparing Stuff for Dresses) one of the most famous of all Japanese
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