Design and Entertainment in Japanese Woodblock Prints

On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the friendship between Austria and Japan, MAK Vienna hosted a special exhibition on Japanese ukiyo-e designer Kuniyoshi and his artistic and cultural environment.

Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798–1861) is a key figure in the history of the colour woodcut at the end of the Edo period. Together with the important publishers of his time and other artists of the Utagawa School, he created artistically and technically groundbreaking prints that enjoyed great popularity among the general public.

The MAK houses colour woodcuts by Kuniyoshi and his contemporaries, whose profile and composition make them unique in the world. The MAK collection of Japanese colour woodcuts from the late Edo period was largely created around the year 1900.

The exhibition and this beautiful publication place his work in eight chapters at the centre of the Utagawa School: innovations in content and technology allow his oeuvre to mirror the great political and social changes in Japan in the 19th century.

Published on the occasion of the exhibition at MAK – Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna (26 October 2019 – 16 February 2020).

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