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By Adele Schlombs

Literally meaning “pictures of the floating world,” ukiyo-e was a particular woodblock print genre of art that flourished between the 17th and 19th centuries. Utagawa Hiroshige (1797–1858) was one of the last great artists in the ukiyo-e tradition. His topics ranged from Tokyo (then called Edo) to spectacular landscapes.

Hiroshige’s prints became exemplary of the Japonisme that swept through Europe and defined the Western world’s visual idea of Japan. Their ease of reproduction made them available for greeting cards, fans and book illustrations. Many Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and Art Nouveau artists were influenced by Hiroshige's beautiful depiction of the natural world.

This introductory book presents key images from Hiroshige’s vibrant, vivid portfolio of beautiful women, bloomling cherry trees, Kabuki actors, and busy shopping streets, to introduce one of the greats of Asian art history.

Each book in Taschen’s Basic Art series features a detailed chronological summary of the life and oeuvre of the artist, covering his or her cultural and historical importance, a concise biography, and approximately 100 illustrations with explanatory captions.

Hardcover with jacket, 96 pages

Dimensions: 8.5 x 10.5 x 0.5 inches

“Some of the greatest prints in the history of art.” — The Wall Street Journal, New York