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Ukiyo-E Art Analysis

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Ukiyo-e paintings, also known as pictures of the floating world, were not merely decorative objects, but played a very important role in communicating fashions, customs, theatre and culture in general. They were served as a form of advertisement, like the illustrations on today’s magazines. Their creations was a fairly important and demanding affair, not merely an artist’s personal endeavor, but a complex undertaking involving many different people at different levels. In this paper I will argue that although all subjects of Ukiyo-e painting were tightly related to the Edo society at a certain time period, landscapes, which appeared at the last stage of Ukiyo-e’s boom, served as a totally different function to Edo society compared to the…show more content…
Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō was created right after Hiroshige’s trip back from Mayiko, where’s now Kyoto. The journey to Miyako took place in the summertime and Hiroshige returned in the late autumn. The series depicts scenes he saw along the Tokaido. Thus, Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō functioned mainly as a travel brochure. The Tōkaidō was the most famous and well travelled route in Japan, and the art of Ukiyo-e had contributed to making it so. The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō bear witness to the master’s sensitivity both for nature and for people, whose vitality and behavior, sentiments and passions, are portrayed in a direct and suntaneous…show more content…
The women depicted were most often courtesans and geisha at leisure, and promoted the entertainments to be found in the pleasure districts. Soon there were other subjects of all levels of beauty in order to satisfied the demand of entertainment and pleasure from all levels. The typical example would be the Three Beauties of the Present Day, 1793 by Kitagawa Utamaro. The piece depicts the profiles of three celebrity beauties of the time. The very delicate details and the careful use of color represent both artist’s and viewers’ attentions on the appearance of the painting. Similar to other Ukiyo-e Bijin-ga paintings, this piece was made for pure appreciation. Bijin-ga later evolved into the depiction of erotic scenes, that much like an encyclopedia, to show shogun, mostly, having sex with females different ways. Those pieces, like the Treasures Hidden in our Pockets by Eisen, 1830s–40s, prevailed among the society, especially higher classes, for the
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