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Kuniyoshi - Woodblock Print

Kuniyoshi

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Until january 17, 2016

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Why you will love it?

Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861) is one of the most famous 19th century artist in Japan. His fascinating woodblock prints have captured the eyes of connoisseurs throughout the world, including Rodin and Monet. Today, Kuniyoshi’s works still inspire the Manga and tattoo worlds and this exhibition at the Petit Palais is a unique chance to discover the beauty and finesse behind Kuniyoshi’s works.

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About this place


Location
Petit Palais, Avenue Winston Churchill, 75008 Paris
Line 1/13 - Champs-Elysées Clémenceau

Hours
Tuesday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm
more less
Monday : Closed Tuesday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm Wednesday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm Thursday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm Friday : 10:00 am - 21:00 pm Saturday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm Sunday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm
25 December

Our Insiders' Article

Kuniyoshi

The exhibition Kuniyoshi, le demon de l’estampe (“the Demon of Woodblock Print”) is dedicated to one of the masters of ukiyo-e (“pictures of the floating world”), a genre of Japanese woodblock prints and paintings: Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861). Over 250 of his works are exposed at the Petit Palais. His violent, contemplative or humoristic woodblock prints have not only caught the eyes of forewarned European art merchants and artists in the 19th century, but still highly influence the world of tattoos and Mangas (Japanese comic books) today. 

Highlights

The Kuniyoshi exhibition is divided into 5 sections, following a chronological order:

Legends, Warriors and Dragons: illustrations of legend heroes and warriors, generally depicted with large tattoos on their bodies. This is what brought Kuniyoshi to fame.

Kabuki actors: the portraits of traditional Japanese theater actors for the promotion of the plays in Edo (former name of Tokyo)

The pleasures of Edo: the red light district of Edo and its refined courtesans

Landscapes: the peaceful scenes of life by the water contrasts with the first section’s violent theme.

Games and Caricatures: Kuniyoshi used caricatures (replacing humans with animals) to get around censorship.

Curiosities

At the end of the exhibition, you will discover the tools used to make these woodblock prints. A fascinating video also gives a full description of the different steps that lead to the creation of the prints.

Modern manga comic books can also be consulted towards the end of the exhibition to realize how much Kuniyoshi has influenced their authors.

Conclusion

The Kuniyoshi exhibition is the first part of a global exhibition at the Petit Palais called Fantastique!. Dialoging with the Japanese master is a wonderful gathering of European woodblock carvings and lithographs called “L’Estampe Visionnaire”, which present works from 18th century Francisco de Goya to early 20th century Odilon Redon.

The Kuniyoshi exhibition is a perfect introduction to Japanese art which can be seen in 30 minutes (at least).

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