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THE ARTIST – KUNIYOSHI

While there were some incredible woodblock print artists throughout history, one in particular was known for being a top teacher – Toyokuni.  During his career in teaching this art form, he had a number of prolific students, two in particular being Kunisada and Kuniyoshi.  One of the unique aspects of Toyokuni’s teaching was taking Ukiyo-e and enhancing it, pushing it to the limit. 

When you look at Kuniyoshi’s work compared to other artists, you might think of his work as being “ordinary”.  However, if you take the variety and style of products, you can see the amazing work created, very different from other artists working on woodblock prints.  In fact, Kuniyoshi’s experimentation is what sets him apart from many other artists. 

To give you an idea of what we mean many of the changes seen in woodblock prints is slow.  In other words, changes are typically done over time, not overnight.  However, with Kuniyoshi, you see a different approach in that he tends to take chances.  If you were to look at his woodblock print work from the start to finish of his career, you would be amazed and realize the hard impact he has made in the field of artistry. 

Typically, artists who created woodblock prints kept it safe, taking some change but very small.  With Kuniyoshi, you see him stepping outside the box, moving to periodic changes that keeps his work refreshing and interesting.  This infusion of fresh ideas has made him a popular choice.  Another aspect of Kuniyoshi’s work that sets him apart is the incredible detailing.  Each of his woodblock prints tells a story within a story due to the amazing focus on every small detail. 

Many of the woodblock print artists from this period responded to the public’s demand.  Keep in mind that in Japan, there was a certain culture that was both popular and accepted.  For this reason, many of the production coming out of the Utagawa School during the 19th century leaned more toward media than actual art.  The creations you did see were typically that of the floating world, beautiful women, Kabuki theater, and high-end fashion.  If you want something that defies tradition, you should look for prints created by Kuniyoshi.


Read more about Japanese Woodblock Prints:
  Japanese Woodblock Prints   Ukiyo-e   Toyokuni Utagawa   Eisen Kikugawa   Hiroshige Ando   Utamaro Kitigawa

 

Visit our online store for dozens of Japanese Woodblock Prints

Click here to see our current selection.
 
The Great Wave by Hokusai
The Great Wave by Hokusai
Code:fw1002
Price:$27.95
Kabuki by Utagawa
Kabuki by Utagawa
Code:fw1121
Price:$27.95
3 Beauties by Utamaro
3 Beauties by Utamaro
Code:fw1118
Price:$27.95
General in Battle by Utagawa
General in Battle by Utagawa
Code:fw1120
Price:$27.95
Mt Fuji by Hiroshige
Mt Fuji by Hiroshige
Code:fw1010
Price:$27.95
 

 


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