uki·yo–e noun \ü-ˌkē-ō-ˈyā, -ˈā\
: a Japanese art movement that flourished from the 17th to the 19th century and produced paintings and prints depicting the everyday life and interests of the common people; also : the paintings and prints themselves
Origin of UKIYO-E
genre picture, from ukiyo
world, life + e
First Known Use: 1879
ukiyo-e noun (Concise Encyclopedia)
Dominant art movement of the Edo culture in Japan. Screen paintings were the first works to be done in the style, which depicted aspects of the entertainment quarters (floating world) of Edo (modern Tokyo) and other cities. Ukiyo-e artists switched their focus to wood-block prints, which were mass-produced for an eager public. Favourite ukiyo-e subjects included famous courtesans and prostitutes, kabuki actors in famous roles, and erotica; they were executed in flat, decorative colours and expressive patterns. Hishikawa Moronobu is generally accredited as the first master of ukiyo-e. The transition from single- to two-colour prints was made by Okumura Masanobu; in 1765 polychrome prints using numerous blocks were introduced by Suzuki Harunobu. The essence of the ukiyo-e style was embodied in the works of Utamaro, Hokusai, and Hiroshige. The prints attracted much attention in Europe in the 19th century and had a great influence on avant-garde French artists such as the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists.
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