153 results in English
Ex Librises by A. Tychina
Anatoly Tychina (1897–1986), one of the major book designers in Belarus in the 20th century, played a significant role in the development of Belarusian national art. He worked in such areas of the graphic arts as book design, easel graphics, newspaper and magazine design, and ex-libris bookplates. His works display expressive realistic forms, contrasts of color and volume, as well as a unique national character. Ex-libris design flourished in Belarus in the 1920s. With help from the Belarusian Society of Bibliophiles, a small edition of 200 copies of Еx ...
The Old People Mill
This 1852 single-sheet satirical print depicting “the old people mill” is part of a collection of 850 such broadsides printed in various Swedish cities and now preserved in the National Library of Sweden. These prints were often pasted inside the lids of chests in which people stored their belongings. The print on the left and the accompanying verses below are devoted to “the mill for old men," those on the right to “the mill for old women,” magical mills from which they return young and beautiful. In the era before ...
Olympic Games, Stockholm, 1912
The Stockholm Olympiad of 1912 marked the transition of the modern Olympic Games from what had been a modest-sized athletic competition into a global media event. The preparation and build-up for the games, the venues built especially for them, and media exposure all began to overshadow the fabric of the athletic competitions themselves. This media event emphasized both global and national dimensions and was meticulously conceived by the organizers. Recognizing that technology was evolving quickly and that visual images crossed borders unhindered, the committee mounted an innovative international media campaign ...
A Collection of Japanese Paintings
This picture book is by Hishikawa Moronobu (died 1694) a representative artist in the earliest days of ukiyo-e. It consists of 20 pictures depicting popular scenes from classical Japanese literature, including Ise monogatari (The tales of Ise), Genji monogatari (The tale of Genji), and yōkyoku (chants of Noh plays). Moronobu was the first artist who put his signature on printed books. On the colophon of this work, he identifies himself as Yamato-e-shi (artist of classical Japanese paintings), thereby showing his professional confidence in himself as an artist. The National Diet ...
Contributed by National Diet Library
The Sanmai-bashi Bridges in Ueno
This nishiki-e (Japanese multicolored woodblock print of ukiyo-e) depicts beautiful women coming and going in front of the Sanmai-bashi Bridges (“three bridges side by side”) in Ueno-hirokōji, Edo (present-day Tokyo). Cherry trees in the woods around Kan’ei-ji Temple can be seen in the distance. Kan’ei-ji Temple was well known as the best cherry blossom-viewing spot in the city of Edo, and even now, many people visit it in the cherry blossom season. In the foreground are the three bridges side by side. The women appear to be taking ...
Contributed by National Diet Library
Beauties of Yoshiwara
Seirō Bijin Awase (Beauties of Yoshiwara) is one of the finest multicolored woodblock printed books in Japan. It was published in 1770. The book depicts 166 courtesans of the Yoshiwara, the pleasure quarter in Edo (present-day Tokyo), with the names of the courtesans and the brothels where they worked, with a haiku (a short poem) in the background of each illustration. The work consists of five sections in five chapters. The original title slip on which the book title and the volume title were printed is attached to the center ...
Contributed by National Diet Library
Ciniselli Circus Water Pantomime
This poster by an unknown artist is devoted to the Ciniselli Circus water pantomime (probably The Four Elements). Produced in Berlin by the firm Dinse & Eckert, the picture is a colored lithograph with the letters written in gold. The water pantomime was performed for the first time in Russia in 1892. In The Four Elements, water rushed down in a cascade and fountains gushed out in different places of the arena. Deer, elephants, and horses with riders swam in the arena lake. Pantomime, an art form in which the story ...
Liberty Act by Scipione Ciniselli
This black and white lithograph of 1900 depicts Scipione Ciniselli, director of the Ciniselli Circus (now the Bolshoi Saint Petersburg State Circus), and his twelve liberty horses in the final act of the performance. The term "liberty horse act" refers to an act in which the horses are directed with verbal commands and are not mounted or held by reins; the horses are "at liberty." Scipione was the son of Gaetano Ciniselli, who founded the circus in 1877. Following Gaetano’s death in 1881, leadership of the circus passed first ...
Curious Designs
Braccelli’s Bizzarie di varie figure contains a suite of 50 etchings that celebrate the human figure in geometric forms. Squares, triangles, circles, and parallelograms take the place of muscle, bone, and tissue, defining the body in a new visual vocabulary. Braccelli’s designs are unique in the history of book illustration. They represent a high point in the Mannerist style of etching that flourished in the 17th century. Mannerism incorporated the techniques of the Renaissance but rejected the classical imagery and harmonious style that is the hallmark of much ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Book of Urizen
The poet and artist William Blake was born in London in 1757. He was apprenticed to an engraver and studied drawing at the Royal Academy. In 1783 he published his first book of poetry, Poetical Sketches. Blake was a religious mystic who eschewed the traditional teaching of the Christian churches to invent his own doctrines and symbols, which he drew from classical and Celtic mythology and many other sources. This printing of The Book of Urizen from the Rosenwald Collection at the Library of Congress introduces a figure, Urizen, whom ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Australia has Promised Britain 50,000 More Men; Will You Help Us Keep that Promise
In World War I, all sides used posters as tools to mobilize their populations for the war effort. Australia fought on the side of its “mother country,” Great Britain. Australian soldiers suffered heavy casualties in the Gallipoli campaign and in the trenches on the Western front. Casualties led to recruiting drives intended to attract new enlistments. This poster by an unidentified artist appeals to the strong sense of loyalty to Britain felt by the Australian people. It shows a kangaroo in front of number 50,000 and in the background ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Subscribe to the 8th War Loan
In World War I, all sides used posters as tools to mobilize their populations for the war effort. This poster, published in Vienna in 1918, shows a little girl reaching through a number "8" to deposit a coin into a pile below, an advertisement for the eighth war loan being raised by Austria-Hungary, Germany’s chief ally in the war. The artist who designed the poster was Alfred Offner. Born in Czernowitz in 1879, Offner was a painter and graphic artist who was associated with the Vienna Secession, a group ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Union Bank, 8th War Loan; Peace Through Victory
In World War I, all sides used posters as tools to mobilize their populations for the war effort. This poster, published in Vienna in 1918, is an advertisement for the eighth war loan being raised by Austria-Hungary, Germany’s chief ally in the war. It shows a young woman offering a bowl of coins at an altar decorated with the Austrian coat of arms. The artist was Thomas Fasche, who created several other World War I posters, but about whom little is known.
Contributed by Library of Congress
National War Relief Exhibition
In World War I, all sides used posters as tools to mobilize their populations for the war effort. This poster, published in Pozsony (present-day Bratislava, Slovakia) in 1917, shows a disabled veteran with a prosthetic arm using a scythe to harvest wheat. The text announces the National War Relief Exhibition in Pozsony. The poster was created by Pal Sujan, a popular artist whose portraits and other paintings were widely shown in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Sujan was born in Budapest in 1880, studied art, and worked as an art teacher in ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Adam and Eve in Paradise
Lucas Cranach, the Elder (1472-1553) was a leading artist of the German Renaissance. He served as court painter at Wittenberg to Frederick the Wise of Saxony and was a friend and advocate of Martin Luther, the leader of the Protestant Reformation. He was also a master printmaker. This 1509 woodcut depicts Adam and Eve beneath an apple tree, surrounded by animals, with Eve being tempted by the serpent. Man’s fall from grace was a popular theme in the Reformation era. Between 1510 and 1540 Cranach painted Adam and Eve ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Small Passion. The Expulsion from Paradise
Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) is generally considered Germany’s greatest artist. In addition to being one of the monumental figures in the history of Western printmaking, he was a painter and wrote important early works of artistic theory dealing with such topics as geometry, perspective, and the measurements of the human body. Much of his work was religious. From his early 20s until his death at the age of 57, Dürer worked on at least six different versions of the Passion--the story of Christ's suffering between the Last Supper and ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
French-Canadians: Enlist!: Re-form the Salaberry Riflery Regiments
In World War I, all sides used posters as tools to mobilize their populations for the war effort. This recruitment poster from Canada was directed at French-speaking Canadians, with the warning that “England, bulwark of our liberties, is threatened.” The call to re-form the Salaberry rifle regiments refers back to the War of 1812 between Britain and the United States, when Major Charles de Salaberry, a member of a distinguished Quebec family, was given command of a new regiment, recruited from among French Canadians, to defend against a possible American ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
A View of Mimeguri Shrine from the Sumida River
This work by Shiba Kokan (1747-1818), a famous Western-style painter of the late Edo period (1600-1867), is the first copperplate etching by a Japanese artist. It depicts the landscape of Mimeguri Shrine at Mukōjima, eastern Edo (present-day Tokyo), as seen from the bank of the Sumida River. Because the etching was made for a peep-show box, left and right are reversed. Kokan was interested in Western science and wrote works on astronomy and geography. In this picture, he uses Western perspective drawing technique.
Contributed by National Diet Library
England Plate 2nd
This unsigned wash drawing is presumed to be the original by William Hogarth (1697-1764) for the etched plate, The Invasion, Plate 2, England. Hogarth was a major English pictorial satirist and social critic. He was also one of the first artists to draw subjects in a series. One of his best-known works is the series The Rake’s Progress, which shows the downfall of a young man of means who squanders his inheritance. The Invasion series, consisting of two plates, depicts the French plotting an invasion of England while the ...
Contributed by Brown University Library
Subscribe to the War Loan! The Army and Navy Expect it from You!
In World War I, all sides used posters as tools to mobilize their populations for the war effort. This 1917 poster, created by the influential German designer and graphic artist Lucian Bernhard, appeals to German citizens to help finance the war with their savings. Bernhard was born in 1883, and his original name was Emil Kahn. After studying at the Munich Art Academy, he moved to Berlin where he worked as a commercial artist. He was best known for his innovative advertising posters for German companies. Bernhard emphasized simplicity as ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Warrior Asahina Kobayashi
The Japanese art of Ukiyo-e (“Pictures of the floating [or sorrowful] world”) developed in the city of Edo (now Tokyo) during the Tokugawa or Edo Period (1600-1868), a relatively peaceful era during which the Tokugawa shoguns ruled Japan and made Edo the seat of power. The Ukiyo-e tradition of woodblock printing and painting continued into the 20th century. This 1862 print is a half-length portrait of an actor, wearing a robe with a bird motif, in the role of Asahina. The print is from the series The 36 Stars of ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Exlibris
Wolfgangus Lazius is the Latinized name of Wolfgang Laz (1514–65), an Austrian humanist, historian, cartographer, and physician who produced the first set of maps of the hereditary lands of the Austrian crown. Lazius was professor of medicine on the faculty of the University of Vienna, where he was several times dean and rector. Emperor Ferdinand I appointed him his personal physician, historiographer, and adviser, as well as curator of the imperial collections. Like many 16th century scholars trained in the sciences, Lazius was drawn to the emerging art of ...
Contributed by Austrian National Library
Flirtatious Lover
The term ukiyo-e, literally “pictures of the floating world,” refers to a genre of Japanese artwork that flourished in the Edo period (1600–1868). As the phrase “floating world” suggests, with its roots in the ephemeral worldview of Buddhism, ukiyo-e captured the fleeting dynamics of contemporary urban life. While being accessible and catering to “common” tastes, the artistic and technical details of these prints show remarkable sophistication, their subjects ranging from portraits of courtesans and actors to classical literature. This ukiyo-e print is a part of the series Fujin Sōgaku ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Ichikawa Ebizō as Takemura Sadanoshin
The term ukiyo-e, literally “pictures of the floating world,” refers to a genre of Japanese artwork that flourished in the Edo period (1600–1868). As the phrase “floating world” suggests, with its roots in the ephemeral worldview of Buddhism, ukiyo-e captured the fleeting dynamics of contemporary urban life. While being accessible and catering to “common” tastes, the artistic and technical details of these prints show remarkable sophistication, their subjects ranging from portraits of courtesans and actors to classical literature. In this yakusha-e (pictures of actors) by Tōshusai Sharaku, a famous ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Plum Tree of a Country Farmhouse
Along with new artwork, a new and less formal style of poetry called haikai (linked verse) spread among the urbanites of Kyoto, Osaka, and Edo in 17th-century Japan. Haikai was also very much a social activity, with linked-verse parties held on regular occasions in homes or at restaurants. Such poetic gatherings helped give rise to privately commissioned woodblock prints, called surimono (printed matter), which paired images with representative verses from the circle. Both were typically intended to carry the cachet of “insider knowledge” for a cultured and well-educated audience. Because ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Catching Cicadas
The term ukiyo-e, literally “pictures of the floating world,” refers to a genre of Japanese artwork that flourished in the Edo period (1600–1868). As the phrase “floating world” suggests, with its roots in the ephemeral worldview of Buddhism, ukiyo-e captured the fleeting dynamics of contemporary urban life. While being accessible and catering to “common” tastes, the artistic and technical details of these prints show remarkable sophistication, their subjects ranging from portraits of courtesans and actors to classical literature. This print is a page from an egoyomi (pictorial calendar), which ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Shibaura
The term ukiyo-e, literally “pictures of the floating world,” refers to a genre of Japanese artwork that flourished in the Edo period (1600–1868). As the phrase “floating world” suggests, with its roots in the ephemeral worldview of Buddhism, ukiyo-e captured the fleeting dynamics of contemporary urban life. While being accessible and catering to “common” tastes, the artistic and technical details of these prints show remarkable sophistication, their subjects ranging from portraits of courtesans and actors to classical literature. Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) was a prolific artist and woodblock printer ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Actor Ichikawa Danjūrō in the Role of Kudō Suketsune
The term ukiyo-e, literally “pictures of the floating world,” refers to a genre of Japanese artwork that flourished in the Edo period (1600–1868). As the phrase “floating world” suggests, with its roots in the ephemeral worldview of Buddhism, ukiyo-e captured the fleeting dynamics of contemporary urban life. While being accessible and catering to “common” tastes, the artistic and technical details of these prints show remarkable sophistication, their subjects ranging from portraits of courtesans and actors to classical literature. Yakusha-e (pictures of actors) were inexpensive, costing about as much as ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Actors Ichikawa Raizō in the Role of Umeōmaru and Nakajima Mihoemon in the Role of Shihei
The term ukiyo-e, literally “pictures of the floating world,” refers to a genre of Japanese artwork that flourished in the Edo period (1600–1868). As the phrase “floating world” suggests, with its roots in the ephemeral worldview of Buddhism, ukiyo-e captured the fleeting dynamics of contemporary urban life. While being accessible and catering to “common” tastes, the artistic and technical details of these prints show remarkable sophistication, their subjects ranging from portraits of courtesans and actors to classical literature. The designer of this print is not known with certainty, but ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Toragaishi
The term ukiyo-e, literally “pictures of the floating world,” refers to a genre of Japanese artwork that flourished in the Edo period (1600–1868). As the phrase “floating world” suggests, with its roots in the ephemeral worldview of Buddhism, ukiyo-e captured the fleeting dynamics of contemporary urban life. While being accessible and catering to “common” tastes, the artistic and technical details of these prints show remarkable sophistication, their subjects ranging from portraits of courtesans and actors to classical literature. This print is a page from an illustrated album, Allegory of ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Three Actors
The term ukiyo-e, literally “pictures of the floating world,” refers to a genre of Japanese artwork that flourished in the Edo period (1600–1868). As the phrase “floating world” suggests, with its roots in the ephemeral worldview of Buddhism, ukiyo-e captured the fleeting dynamics of contemporary urban life. While being accessible and catering to “common” tastes, the artistic and technical details of these prints show remarkable sophistication, their subjects ranging from portraits of courtesans and actors to classical literature. This print features a central male actor holding a sake container ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Chinese Gentleman and Stableboy Exchanging a Light with their Pipes
The term ukiyo-e, literally “pictures of the floating world,” refers to a genre of Japanese artwork that flourished in the Edo period (1600–1868). As the phrase “floating world” suggests, with its roots in the ephemeral worldview of Buddhism, ukiyo-e captured the fleeting dynamics of contemporary urban life. While being accessible and catering to “common” tastes, the artistic and technical details of these prints show remarkable sophistication, their subjects ranging from portraits of courtesans and actors to classical literature. Suzuki Harunobu (circa 1725–70) was a central figure in developing ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Young Girl Gyokkashi Eimo
The term ukiyo-e, literally “pictures of the floating world,” refers to a genre of Japanese artwork that flourished in the Edo period (1600–1868). As the phrase “floating world” suggests, with its roots in the ephemeral worldview of Buddhism, ukiyo-e captured the fleeting dynamics of contemporary urban life. While being accessible and catering to “common” tastes, the artistic and technical details of these prints show remarkable sophistication, their subjects ranging from portraits of courtesans and actors to classical literature. This nishiki-e (full-color print) shows Gyokkashi Eimo, a young girl with ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Sake Cup
The term ukiyo-e, literally “pictures of the floating world,” refers to a genre of Japanese artwork that flourished in the Edo period (1600–1868). As the phrase “floating world” suggests, with its roots in the ephemeral worldview of Buddhism, ukiyo-e captured the fleeting dynamics of contemporary urban life. While being accessible and catering to “common” tastes, the artistic and technical details of these prints show remarkable sophistication, their subjects ranging from portraits of courtesans and actors to classical literature. This print is from the series Meriyasu Eshō (a selection of ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Actor Sanogawa Ichimatsu in the Role of Shakkyō Dancer
The term ukiyo-e, literally “pictures of the floating world,” refers to a genre of Japanese artwork that flourished in the Edo period (1600–1868). As the phrase “floating world” suggests, with its roots in the ephemeral worldview of Buddhism, ukiyo-e captured the fleeting dynamics of contemporary urban life. While being accessible and catering to “common” tastes, the artistic and technical details of these prints show remarkable sophistication, their subjects ranging from portraits of courtesans and actors to classical literature. This print depicts popular Kabuki actor Sanogawa Ichimatsu performing the lion ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Gajō icchō
The term ukiyo-e, literally “pictures of the floating world,” refers to a genre of Japanese artwork that flourished in the Edo period (1600–1868). As the phrase “floating world” suggests, with its roots in the ephemeral worldview of Buddhism, ukiyo-e captured the fleeting dynamics of contemporary urban life. While being accessible and catering to “common” tastes, the artistic and technical details of these prints show remarkable sophistication, their subjects ranging from portraits of courtesans and actors to classical literature. These woodblock ukiyo-e prints are selections from the series Meisho Edo ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Dutch, American, English
After nearly two centuries of restricted foreign contact, Japan became increasingly exposed to Western culture in the 1850s as new trade agreements prompted cross-cultural interaction. The influx of unfamiliar technology and customs gave rise to anxiety as well as awe among the Japanese people, whose curiosity about the external world is evident in the detailed depictions of foreign subjects by ukiyo-e (pictures of the floating world) artists. Yokohama-e (pictures of Yokohama) depicting the commercial trading port that connected Japan to the West, as well as Western culture in general, became ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
A North American: Portrait of Perry
Commodore Matthew C. Perry entered the port of Yokohama in 1853 with an intimidating fleet of steam warships, in order to compel Japan to open up after nearly two centuries of restricted foreign contact. The Japanese people became increasingly exposed to Western culture as new trade agreements prompted cross-cultural interaction. The influx of unfamiliar technology and customs gave rise to anxiety as well as awe among the Japanese people, whose curiosity about the external world is evident in the detailed depictions of foreign subjects by ukiyo-e (pictures of the floating ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Kinko and Echizen
The term ukiyo-e, literally “pictures of the floating world,” refers to a genre of Japanese artwork that flourished in the Edo period (1600–1868). As the phrase “floating world” suggests, with its roots in the ephemeral worldview of Buddhism, ukiyo-e captured the fleeting dynamics of contemporary urban life. While being accessible and catering to “common” tastes, the artistic and technical details of these prints show remarkable sophistication, their subjects ranging from portraits of courtesans and actors to classical literature. Black-and-white compositions like this one are known as sumizuri-e because they ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Actor Nakayama Tomisaburo
The term ukiyo-e, literally “pictures of the floating world,” refers to a genre of Japanese artwork that flourished in the Edo period (1600–1868). As the phrase “floating world” suggests, with its roots in the ephemeral worldview of Buddhism, ukiyo-e captured the fleeting dynamics of contemporary urban life. While being accessible and catering to “common” tastes, the artistic and technical details of these prints show remarkable sophistication, their subjects ranging from portraits of courtesans and actors to classical literature. This print is one of only seven known works, all portraits ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Baby Whitefish
A new and less formal style of poetry called haikai (linked verse) spread among the urbanites of Kyoto, Osaka, and Edo in 17th-century Japan. Haikai was also very much a social activity, with linked-verse parties held on regular occasions in homes or at restaurants. Such poetic gatherings helped give rise to privately commissioned woodblock prints, called surimono (printed matter), which paired images with representative verses from the circle. Both were typically intended to carry the cachet of “insider knowledge” for a cultured and well-educated audience. Because such surimono were not ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
A Samurai Drinking Sake
The term ukiyo-e, literally “pictures of the floating world,” refers to a genre of Japanese artwork that flourished in the Edo period (1600–1868). As the phrase “floating world” suggests, with its roots in the ephemeral worldview of Buddhism, ukiyo-e captured the fleeting dynamics of contemporary urban life. While being accessible and catering to “common” tastes, the artistic and technical details of these prints show remarkable sophistication, their subjects ranging from portraits of courtesans and actors to classical literature. This is a preliminary sketch that may have been intended for ...
Contributed by Library of Congress