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Learning from the Japanese: The International Block Print Renaissance

At the 1867 Paris World’s Fair, Japanese block prints—previously unknown to most European and American audiences—took the art world by storm, reawakening interest in block printmaking in Europe and America. Western artists were captivated by Japanese printmakers’ way of viewing the world. Japanese prints depicted everyday subject matter (including landscapes, birds, flowers, fashionable women, and famous actors), unlike the traditional European focus on religious or historical scenes. The style was equally compelling—Japanese prints featured cropped compositions and bird’s-eye views, rather than European one-point perspective. Numerous exhibitions of these prints soon followed, and their popularity spread throughout Europe and America. These color woodcuts so impressed artists in Europe and America that a revival of interest in the possibilities of block printmaking occurred—the International Block Print Renaissance.

Follow the link below for more information on the exhibtion.

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