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What is Ukiyoe?

Ukiyoe By Toshusai Sharaku

浮世絵 うきよえ Ukiyo-e

Ukiyo-e is a kind of woodcut print which flourished from about the 1680s to the 1850s. It depicts the everyday life of common people, and portraits of actors and beautiful women are also among its themes. Many foreign artists have been influenced by this unique style including Van Gogh. Among the most prominent ukiyo-e artists are Kitagawa Utamaro (1753?-1806) and Toshusai Sharaku (1763?-1820?), renowned for their portraits of beautiful women and portraits of actors respectively, Utagawa (Ando) Hiroshige (1797-1858), artist of the “Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido,” and Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), artist of the “Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji.”

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