Synopses & Reviews
In the early 1960s, what was then the Kunstmuseum Dusseldorf received a large gift of Japanese woodcuts (Ukiyo-e), a gift to which the donor would generously add until 1988. This catalogue presents 220 pieces from this collection, by the enormously prolific illustrators Kunisada (1786-1865) and Kuniyoshi (1798-1861), masters of the Utagawa School. The prints of these artists transport the observer into a colorful, imaginative dream world of Kabuki actors, mythical creatures, hauntingly beautiful women and fierce warriors. This publication offers a rare opportunity to compare the two artists' illustrations of the same themes, and includes essays that provide an introduction to nineteenth-century Japanese popular culture and bridge the gap between the centuries by exploring aspects of the grotesque in Japanese art, explaining legends and plays, and presenting some of Kuniyoshi's preliminary studies.