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Download 1,000+ Japanese Woodblock Prints by Edo-Era Master Hiroshige

Japanese Woodblock Prints by Hiroshige

“Cherry Blossoms in Full Bloom at Goten-yama,” c. 1840-42. (Photo: Public domain, via Minneapolis Institute of Art.)

With rich colors and distinct aesthetics, Japanese woodblock prints blossomed between the 17th and 19th centuries, in the Edo era. During this time, Japan was mostly closed off from the outside world, and only a handful of Dutch and Chinese traders were allowed inside with severe restrictions. So, the style of ukiyo-e, which literally means “pictures of a floating world,” offers a window into what life was like before the country reopened.

Among the many masters of this trade, Utagawa Hiroshige (born Andō Hiroshige) was one of the most influential. Not only was he incredibly prolific, producing more than 8,000 woodblock prints during his lifetime, but he also created some of the best-known images of Japanese life during the Edo era. Some of his most famous series include The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō and One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, both of which explored composition and subtle use of color.

Now, fans of the historical art form can learn more about the process and even look at prints in close detail from their home. The Minneapolis Institute of Art recently made their extensive digital collection of woodblock prints by Hiroshige available to view and even download via their website. Within this 1,000+ image archive are examples of his landscapes, cityscapes, portraits, and more—many of which influenced Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painters like Monet and Van Gogh.

Visit the Minneapolis Institute of Art's website to view and download Hiroshige's woodblock prints.

Download more than 1,000 Japanese woodblock prints by Edo-era master Utagawa Hiroshige.

Japanese Woodblock Prints by Hiroshige

“No.7 Fujisawa,” 1847-1852. (Photo: Public domain, via Minneapolis Institute of Art.)

Japanese Woodblock Prints by Hiroshige

“Mouth of the Aji River in Settsu Province,” 1858, 7th month. (Photo: Public domain, via Minneapolis Institute of Art.)

Japanese Woodblock Prints by Hiroshige

“No.19 Ejiri,” 1847-1852. (Photo: Public domain, via Minneapolis Institute of Art.)

Minneapolis Institute of Art: Website | Facebook | Instagram
h/t: [Open Culture]

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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