If you love Japanese art, this recent book release from Taschen is sure to pique your interest. Titled Japanese Woodblock Prints (1680- 1983), the 622-page hardcover edition chronicles over two centuries of the one-of-a-kind art form, from breathtaking landscapes to vibrant images of mythical creatures.
Taschen spent 3 years putting together the stunning collection of 200 reproduced Japanese woodblock prints from the archives of museums and private collections across the globe. It comprises the work of 89 artists in 7 chapters organized chronologically that trace the history of the age-old medium from 1680 to 1938. It also includes 17 fold-out images, a full appendix listing the artists, the titles of the woodblock prints, as well as editorial notes by author Andreas Marks, head of the Japanese and Korean Art Department at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
The book covers a broad range of woodblock print masters’ subjects as well as the stories behind each motif. “We discover the four pillars of the woodblock print—beauties, actors, landscapes, and bird-and-flower compositions—alongside depictions of sumo wrestlers, kabuki actors, or enticing courtesans—rock stars who populated the ‘floating world’ and whose fan bases fueled the frenzied production of woodblock prints,” say Taschen. “We delve into the horrifying and the obscure in prints where demons, ghosts, man-eaters, and otherworldly creatures torment the living—stunning images that continue to influence Japanese manga, film, and video games to this day.”
Want to add this visual history book to your collection? You can buy Japanese Woodblock Prints (1680- 1983) on the Taschen website now.