Did you know Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Degas, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec were all influenced by the Japanese art movement known as ukiyo-e? The movement developed in the 17th century as a depiction of worldly pleasures in Edo-era Japan on woodcut prints. Learn more about the history of ukiyo-e at The Hyde Collection’s new exhibition titled Ukiyo-e to Shin Hanga: Japanese Woodcuts from the Syracuse University Art Collection.
What Is Ukiyo-e?
Translated as “pictures of the floating world,” ukiyo-e is best described as an art movement patronized by Japan’s merchant class. During the Edo era (1603-1868), Japan’s merchants were politically powerless and viewed as the lowest class in society.
However, since merchants were wealthy, they made use of their riches, such as by funding the arts. In the early 17th century, the merchant class paid for cheap and expendable woodcuts that featured transitory pleasures: fashion, beauty, theater, and the heroic derringer of heroes and gods. Although these were fanciful artworks, ukiyo-e reflected the reality of Edo-era Japan through its accurate portrayal of locations and professions.
Discover the History & Lasting Impact of This Art Movement
If you’d like to see examples of these Japanese woodcuts, then visit The Hyde Collection while Ukiyo-e to Shin Hanga: Japanese Woodcuts from the Syracuse University Art Collection is on display in the Wood Gallery.
According to a press release from The Hyde, “In a pendant exhibition, West Meets East, the Western response to ukiyo-e prints is explored through more than twenty-five prints from The Hyde’s permanent collection.”
The exhibition will open on Sunday, November 4 and run through December 30, 2018.