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The Japanese Engraving Ukiyo-e

The distinctive character of Japan is the main feature of the ukiyo-e art. Ukiyo-e is the Japanese art of engraving. Having no analogues among the other cultures of the East the art of ukiyo-e has become the basis for the art development. Many western artists have been influenced by this fine art as well. Vincent van Gogh is the author of the series of paintings that are evidently influenced by ukiyo-e.

Ukiyo-e had been originated from the depth of the urban culture and managed to undergo the numerous alternations and reforms during the two centuries of the Edo epoch. The founder of the Japanese art or engraving is considered to be Hisikawa Moronobu. He was the first artist who created not only the illustrations for books but also the easel art works. His careful attitude towards the process of creating a picture is worth admiring. He used to sign his paintings and gravings and value them as the real items of art. His unique style later acquired by his successors has defined the whole style of the ukiyo-e engraving. The main two genres formed within this framework are called “bidzinga” and “yakusya-e”.

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