JAPANESE WOODBLOCK PRINTS

Tsuneshige (Japanese)

Ito Shinsui (Japanese, 1898–1972) – Early Spring

Takeuchi Keishü (Japanese, 1861–1943)

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (Japanese, 1839–1892) – Waking Up

Kaburagi Kiyokata (Japanese, 1878–1973) – Morning Dew

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (Japanese, 1839–1892) – Teasing the Cat

Imao Keinen (Japanese, 1845–1924) – Two Birds and Crysanthemums

Utagawa Kunisada (Japanese, 1786–1864) – Genji roku no hana

 

Technique
“The technique for printing texts and images was generally quite similar; the obvious differences being in the volume produced when working with texts (many pages for a single work), and the complexity of multiple colors that might be encountered when working with images. Images in books were almost always in monochrome (black ink only), and for a time art prints were likewise monochrome or done in only two or three colors. The text or image would first be drawn onto washi (Japanese paper), and then glued onto a plank of wood, usually cherry. Wood would then be cut away, based on the outlines given by the drawing. A small wooden hard object called a baren would be used to press or burnish the paper against the inked woodblock, thus applying the ink onto the paper. Although this may have been done purely by hand at first, complex wooden mechanisms were soon invented and adopted to help hold the woodblock perfectly still and to apply proper pressure in the printing process. This would be especially helpful once multiple colors began to be introduced, and needed to be applied with precision atop previous ink layers.”

 

via The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

 

 

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