"From the 17th through the 19th century, artists in Kyoto and Edo (now Tokyo) captured the metropolitan amusements of the floating world (ukiyo in Japanese) through depictions of subjects such as the beautiful women of the Yoshiwara pleasure quarters and performers of the kabuki theater. In contrast to ukiyo-e prints by artists such as Katsushika Hokusai, which were widely circulated, ukiyo-e paintings were specially commissioned, unique objects that displayed the maker's technical skill and individual artistic sensibility. Featuring more than 150 works from the celebrated Weston Collection, the most comprehensive of its kind in private hands and published here for the first time in English, this lavishly illustrated and meticulously researched volume addresses the genre of ukiyo-e painting in all its complexity. Individual essays explore topics such as shunga (erotica), mitate-e (images that parody or transform a well-known story or legend), and poetic inscriptions, revealing the crucial role that ukiyo-e painting played in a sophisticated urban culture"--
Foreword / James Rondeau -- Acknowledments / Janice Katz -- The beautiful world of Ukiyo-e / Roger L. Watson -- Gathering beauties from the past: Ukiyo-e paintings in the Weston Collection / Mami Hatayama -- Note to the reader -- Chronology -- Toward a revised history of Ukiyo-e / Nagata Seiji -- Ways of seeing beauty in Ukiyo-e / Beauty and identity in Katsukawa Shunchō's Standing Courtesan / Janice Katz -- The splendor of hairstyles, fashion, and cosmetics in Ukiyo-e paintings / Murata Takako -- Catalogue entries 1-25 -- Shunga: "spring pictures" / Timothy Clark -- Catalogue entries 26-50 -- A word on inscriptions: writing and image on Bijinga paintings / Helen M. Nagata -- Catalogue entries 51-68 -- "Transformational pictures": Mitate-e and Yatsushi-e / Catalogue entries 69-103 -- Feminine beauty in Edo: Utagawa Toyokuni's One Hundred Looks of Various Women / Catalogue entries 104-146 -- To dress a beautiful woman: painting and mounting techniques in Ukiyo-e / Tanya Uyeda -- Catalogue entries 147-154
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