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Download Impressions of Ukiyo-E epub

by Dora Amsden,Woldemar von Seidlitz,Marlena Metcalf

Ukiyo-e, the genre of Japanese woodblock prints produced between the 17th and 20th centuries, is explored in this collection, which chronicles how the technique was developed and rose to great popularity. Illustrations.
Download Impressions of Ukiyo-E epub
ISBN: 1844844706
ISBN13: 978-1844844708
Category: Photography
Author: Dora Amsden,Woldemar von Seidlitz,Marlena Metcalf
Language: English
Publisher: Sirrocco / Parkstone Press (December 15, 2007)
Pages: 287 pages
ePUB size: 1613 kb
FB2 size: 1227 kb
Rating: 4.2
Votes: 192
Other Formats: doc mbr lit mobi

At first glance this seems like a terrific deal - a modern hardcover book with some 280 full-color and full-page high-quality illustrations of some of the most famous ukiyo-e prints (no paintings except for a few early screens) for a measly $30? Wow. It's only when one glances at the end matter that the book's real story appears, for the bibliographical entries span the period 1875-1904. This books appears to be a modern reprint of a book by one Dora Amsden, "Impressions of Ukiyo-ye,: The school of the Japanese colour-print artists," published in 1905 (and available for $14), with unspecified contributions by Woldemar Von Seidlitz, whose "Geschichte des japanischen Farbenholzschnittes" was published in 1897. While I have not read anything by these authors, the English text of this book appears to be in the idiom of the nineteenth-century European art-historical appreciation of Japanese print art - in other words, as the title states, "impressions" and, its antiquarian value aside, of no use at all to today's scholar, teacher, student, or interested layman. So do buy the book for all the nice pictures, but not because you are expecting a modern commentary on and analysis of the works.

The book is divided into two roughly equal parts. thematic essays, and essays on individual artists. The thematic essays include The Rise of Ukiyo-e - The Floating World; Genroku: The Golden Era of Romance and Art; The School of Torii - the Printers' Branch of Ukiyo-e; Analytical Comparisons between the Masters of Ukiyo-e; Main Subjects of the Art of Ukiyo-e. And the individual Masters of Ukiyo-e include only Hishikawa Moronobu and his Contemporaries, The First Torii and Okumura Masanobu, Torii Kiyonaga, Katsukawa Shunsh', Kitagawa Utamaro, Katsushika Hokusai, and Utagawa Hiroshige - period. While there are examples of works by many other artists in the thematic essays, there are no separate essays on anyone else.
Please note that the book being shown by Amazon for this title is actually another book by different authors! The actual book is much more attractive and larger in size. It has great illustrations and worth purchasing. One of the best on ukiyo-e

NOTE: Amazon is now showing the correct book cover image. Therefore, what you now see is what you get. Enjoy!
As already mentioned by other reviewers, the text is absolutely useless. Besides being a conflation (of two different authors!), it would be considered one of the worst examples of impressionist criticism even around 1900 (when the original texts were written). To add insult to injury, some language choices, probably due to translation, make it almost incomprehensible at times, like the use of "profanation" for what one would nowadays refer to as "secularisation".
On the other hand, the illustrations are plentiful and of a very high print quality, often real-life sized or almost. If one just want to see the reproductions, it might be worth buying it. If one wants to learn something about ukiyo-e, go elsewhere.
For anyone coming to the subject and looking for a modern interpretation of the history of Ukiyo-e, this book is going to be an incredible disappointment. The information is totally outdated.

I have an interest in the development of the study of Japanese woodblock prints, and I enjoy reading books written in the 19th and early 20th century about the subject, so for me the fact that this book is based on writings that are a hundred years old was not a problem in itself... I find older works interesting. Unfortunately, this one is not simply a modern reprint of Dora Amsden's 'Impressions of Ukiyo-Ye', which was published in 1905. It is a joining of that book to the work of Woldemar von Seidlitz, without any indication within the book as to which parts belong to von Seidlitz and which belong to Amsden. I have the original Amsden book and on comparing the two volumes found that those parts that belong to Amsden have been edited in the new book, so the text isn't identical to the original. I can't fathom the point in taking an old work, which is so outdated that its antiquarian charm is the only thing it has going for it, and altering even that! In addition, the illustrations of artists' signatures included in Amsden's book are excluded from this one, as is the section entitled 'Hints to Collectors'.

The publisher seems to have taken two out-of-copyright books and melded them together without any regard for whether or not the finished result will be of any use to modern students of the subject.