in the UK
Literally meaning "pictures of the floating world", ukiyo-e refers to the famous Japanese woodblock print genre that originated in the 17th century and is practically synonymous with the Western world's visual characterization of Japan. Because they could be mass produced, ukiyo-e works were often used as designs for fans, New Year's greeting cards, single prints, and book illustrations, and traditionally they depicted city life, entertainment, beautiful women, kabuki actors, and landscapes. The influence of ukiyo-e in Europe and the USA, often referred to as Japonisme, can be seen in everything from impressionist painting to today's manga and anime illustration.Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) was one of the last great artists in the ukiyo-e tradition. Though he captured a variety of subjects, his greatest talent was in creating landscapes of his native Edo (modern-day Tokyo) and his final masterpiece was a series known as "100 Famous Views of Edo" (1856-1858). This resplendent complete reprint pairs each of the 120 large-scale illustrations with a description, allowing readers to plunge themselves into Hiroshige's beautifully vibrant landscapes.
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