Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Inside the collection: Japanese Woodblock Flower Prints

It's hard to believe that summer is already a month gone!
As a parting gesture to the summer past, we've offered up one more collection of dazzling flower prints. I think we've truly saved the best for last!

This is a collection of exquisitely beautiful woodblock prints by the Japanese artist, Tanigami Konan (1879-1928). Originally these prints were published in five volumes, two each dedicated to flowers of the spring and summer, and one volume divided between the fall and winter; it was called Seiyo Soka Zofu, or The Pictorial Book of Western Flowers.

Close inspection reveals this art as a classic example of the cultural cross-pollination between Japan and the West that occurred in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This is immediately evident in the subject matter itself—these are western flowers, varieties of which were indigenous to the Far East, but clearly they are cultivars of Western Europe and the Americas.

But the hand of the artist is subtly (though, definitely) Japanese.

As is the sense of composition, and the nuanced color palette.

The collection is comprised of 120 high-resolution color plates. They are perfect for backgrounds, decoupage, or simply for viewing and remembering, as the cool of autumn sets in.
See the entire collection here.

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