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Famous Japanese Art Prints
Dawit Abeza
Famous Japanese Art Prints

Japanese Art Prints For Sale

Famous Japanese Prints On Canvas

  1. The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai
  2. Tiger by Kawanabe Kyosai
  3. A View of Mount Fuji Across Lake Suwa (Shinsu Suwako) by Katsushika Hokusai
  4. Three Beauties of the Present Day by Kitagawa Utamaro
  5. Plum Park in Kameido by Ando Hiroshige
  6. Sudden Shower over Shin-Ohashi bridge and Atake by Ando Hiroshige
  7. Irises screen by Ogata Korin
  8. Cypress Trees by Kano Eitoku

The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai

The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai

Under the Wave off Kanagawa, commonly known as The Great Wave, by Katsushika Hokusai, has become one of the most famous works of art in the world—and maybe the most iconic piece of Japanese art. Thousands of copies of this print were immediately printed and sold for a low price at first. Although it was created during a period when Japanese trade was severely restricted, Hokusai's print shows the influence of Dutch painting and served as an inspiration to many European artists working later in the nineteenth century.

Under the Wave off Kanagawa is one of Hokusai's Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji prints, which he created between 1830 and 1833. It's a polychrome (multi-colored) woodblock print using ink and color on paper measuring 10 x 14 inches. All of the photographs in the series include a view of Mount Fuji, although as you can see in this example, it does not always take center stage. Instead, a gigantic cresting wave fills the foreground here. Just minutes before crashing down on three fishing boats below, the frightening wave is seen on camera. There's a lot of visual fun in Under the Wave off Kanagawa. The mountain, which has been shrunk by the use of perspective, appears to be about to be devoured by the wave. The spray from the top of the breaking wave seems like snow falling on the mountain, and Hokusai's optical trickery can be amusing.

Why Is The Great Wave Off Kanagawa So Famous?

Tiger by Kawanabe Kyosai

Tiger by Kawanabe Kyosai

Tiger was painted by Kawanabe Kyosai in 1878, and it has since become one of the most famous Japanese paintings in history. Tohaku impacted his painting style heavily, and he went on to become the most famous Japanese artist of the nineteenth century. During his lifetime, he was well-known as an artist and gained a reputation as a troublemaker due to his habit of painting caricatures of political leaders in various humorous settings. Kyosai, the son of a Samurai, began studying painting at a young age.

Famous Sea Paintings

A View of Mount Fuji Across Lake Suwa (Shinsu Suwako) by Katsushika Hokusai

A View of Mount Fuji Across Lake Suwa (Shinsu Suwako) by Katsushika Hokusai

Behind Takashima Castle, which belonged to the Suwa daimyo, or feudal lord, Mount Fuji may be seen in the distance. It's a bright day with a deep blue sky, but for a sliver of mist on the horizon. A huge net is being hauled in by one of the fishermen in the boat on the lake. By placing the pine trees and hut prominently in the foreground, Hokusai has produced a sense of depth in what is otherwise a conventional Japanese landscape. Aside from printing some places in a deeper tone, there hasn't been much done to convey distance.

In truth, only three colors of blue were employed. Various colors were afterward introduced in later impressions of the designs first produced in an aizuri-e edition, as they were in all subsequent impressions of the designs originally issued in an aizuri-e edition. Mount Fuji and the trees in the foreground and on the distant slopes were printed in shades of green, with yellow utilized for the timber walls of the hut and the branches of certain trees, while the sky was printed in blue at the top and orange-red below, evoking the early sunset.

Famous Sky Paintings

Three Beauties of the Present Day by Kitagawa Utamaro

Three Beauties of the Present Day by Kitagawa Utamaro

Kitagawa Utamaro, a Japanese ukiyo-e artist, created Three Beauties of the Present Day, a nishiki-e color woodblock print from c. 1792–93. Three celebrity beauties of the time are depicted in the triangle composition: geisha Tomimoto Toyohina, teahouse waitresses Naniwaya Kita and Takashima Hisa, and teahouse waitresses Naniwaya Kita and Takashima Hisa. Three Beauties of the Kansei Era and Three Famous Beauties are other names for the print.

In the 1790s, Utamaro was the most prominent ukiyo-e artist working in the bijin-ga genre of feminine beauty paintings. His kubi-e, which center on the heads, were well-known. Three Beauties of the Present Day's three models were regular subjects of Utamaro's portraiture. An identifying family crest is placed on each figure in the piece. The portraits are idealized, and their faces appear similar at first glance, but minor distinctions in their features and attitudes can be detected—a level of realism uncommon in ukiyo-e at the period, and a contrast to Harunobu and Kiyonaga's stereotyped beauty.

Tsutaya Jzabur published the opulent print, which was created with numerous woodblocks—one for each color—and a muscovite-dusted background for a glittering appearance. The triangle orientation became fashionable in the 1790s, and it is thought to have been highly popular. Utamaro painted several other portraits of the same three beauties in the same configuration, and all three appeared in several other portraits by Utamaro and other painters.

Famous Expressionist Artists

Plum Park in Kameido by Ando Hiroshige

Plum Park in Kameido by Ando Hiroshige

Plum Park in Kameido, which was the thirty-first print in the One Hundred Famous Views of Edo series, portrays Prunus mume trees in blossom and was published in 1857. In his 1887 painting Flowering Plum Tree, Vincent van Gogh, who was influenced by Japanese prints, recreated the scene. The poster depicts a section of Edo's most renowned tree, the "Sleeping Dragon Plum," which possessed blossoms "so white when full in bloom as to chase off the darkness" and branches that looped around the ground like a dragon before emerging as new trunks over a 50-square-foot area. The tree has a unique abstract arrangement, with large branches taking up much of the foreground while being cropped by the picture's frame, giving it a Japanese calligraphy-like appearance.

The plum tree can be found in Umeyashiki, a plum garden along the Sumida River in Kameido. Further trees and small figures behind a modest fence can be seen between the branches of the Sleeping Dragon Plum, admiring the plum flower. At the top left of the image, a sign, possibly prohibiting vandalism, is visible in the foreground. Hiroshige's command of Japanese landscapes is demonstrated in this image, which employs his exaggerated single-point perspective, which enlarges the size of the nearest objects in view.

Sudden Shower over Shin-Ohashi bridge and Atake by Ando Hiroshige

Sudden Shower over Shin-Ohashi bridge and Atake by Ando Hiroshige

The picture is part of the One Hundred Famous Views of Edo series, which includes 119 views of "named locations" or "celebrated spots" in what is now Tokyo. The series was groundbreaking in that it was the first to include so many different landscape vistas. The series was created between 1856 and 1859, with Hiroshige II completing it after Hiroshige's death in 1858. In the ninth month of 1857, this print was produced. Many of the newly reconstructed or repaired structures were represented in the series, which was commissioned shortly after the 1855 Edo earthquake and accompanying fires.

The prints may have served to remember or attract attention to the rebuilding process in Edo. The poster depicts a portion of the Sumida River's wooden Shin-hashi (New Great) bridge. A boatman punts his log raft towards the Fukagawa lumber yards, with Edo's Atake district in the background, named for the government ship the Atakemaru that was docked there. Two women and four or five men are pictured crossing the bridge, shielding themselves from the rain with hats, umbrellas, or straw capes. Sudden rains are a common motif in ukiyo-e works, and the downpour is conveyed here employing a huge number of thin black parallel lines in two directions - a difficult technique in woodblock carving. The dark clouds are made with a bokashi technique and vary a lot from print to print. The rain, people seeking shelter, and the wood raft in the image's center give the image a sense of movement.

Irises screen by Ogata Korin

Irises screen by Ogata Korin

Irises is a pair of six-panel folding screens (bybu) by Rinpa school Japanese artist Ogata Krin. An abstracted image of water with drifts of Japanese irises is depicted (Iris laevigata). The piece was most likely created between 1701 and 1705, during the Edo period's Genroku bunka period of lavish exhibition (Genroku-era culture). The Nishi Honganji Buddhist temple in Kyoto has the screens for nearly 200 years. They are now housed at the Nezu Museum and are considered a Japanese National Treasure.

The screens are among Ogata Krin's first works after achieving the status of Hokky, the third-highest rank given to artists. It features clusters of abstracted blue Japanese irises in bloom, as well as their green foliage, in a rhythmically repeated but varied pattern across the panels. The similarity of certain blossoms suggests the employment of a stencil. Tawaraya Statsu's influence can be seen in the work. It's typical of Rin-pa, a new artistic style named after the last syllable of his given name. The ultramarine blue of the flowers, the green of their leaves, and the gold background are the only colors used by Krin. The piece was created on paper with ink and color, with gold leaf squares placed around the painted sections to produce a shimmering reflective background reminiscent of water. Powdered azurite was used to create the vivid blue.

Cypress Trees by Kano Eitoku

Cypress Trees by Kano Eitoku

The Japanese painter Kan Eitoku (1543–1590), one of the most renowned patriarchs of the Kan school of Japanese painting, is credited with Cypress Trees, a Kan-school bybu or folding screen. The picture is from the period of Azuchi–Momoyama (1573–1615). It has now been classified as a National Treasure by the Tokyo National Museum.

This Japanese folding screen is made up of multiple panels that have been linked together. Screens were utilized for a variety of purposes, including separating interiors and enclosing private rooms. This piece is considered indicative of Eitoku's dramatic "color and gold" style, which he pioneered. A cypress tree stands against a backdrop of gold-leafed clouds, surrounded by the dark blue waters of a pond, in this polychrome and gold screen. The picture, which depicts a cypress tree, a Japanese symbol of life, spans two four-panel folding screens from around 1590. It is composed of paper wrapped in gold leaf and depicts a cypress tree, a sign of longevity in Japan.

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