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History of Woodcut Prints

Traditional woodcut print making is a composite art from in which the individual, specialist skills of artists, wood carvers and print makers are combined to create a delicate and beautiful work of art known as Ukiyo-e (pictures of the modern world). The world of woodcut printmaking is one of grace and warmth that is not found in any other form of printing. Through the skillful hands of master craftsmen of the Heisei era, this traditional art form has been inherited by the current age.
Standing Beauty in a Kimono With Bird Design Standing Beauty in a Kimono With Wheel Design
 
Returning to the past, it is notable that it was not the Japanese upper-classes, but rather the common people, who cherished Japanese Ukiyo-e prints and nurtured the development of the woodcut printing techniques necessary to produce them.
Beauty at Shrine in Rain
The mass production and circulation of woodcut prints underlay the blossoming of Japanese popular culture that occurred during the Edo era(1600-1867). Ukiyo-e prints are widely appreciated both within and outside of Japan. Indeed, woodcut print making techniques are said to have had a strong influence on the European impressionist painters of the 19th century.

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