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Japanese Prints

Japanese prints, particularly Japanese woodblock prints, have been highly coveted works of art since their creation. They are beloved for their use of the whole spectrum of colors and extraordinary detail on paper made from the inner wood of a mulberry tree.

The creation of Japanese woodblock prints is intriguing in that it requires four people. One artist renders the design of the image, one engraver carves the image into wood, a printer uses the woodblocks to stamp each individual color to compose the image, and a publisher oversees the initial idea of the image and then markets it. While a print may have its own individual differences, once an image is carved into a woodblock, it can be printed thousands of times.

Many painters found inspiration in the innovative stylization and use of space within Japanese prints. They exhibited significant influence in Western Impressionist and Modern art.


Quick Facts

  • Despite the level of skill of all members of the printmaking process, it is usually only the publisher’s name that appears on the print
  • Each color of a Japanese print needs to be carved on a different block of wood. This process of carving and stamping the image with exact precision requires tremendous skill, time, and patience
  • Japanese prints have not always been coveted collector’s items. They were once commonplace items and often overlooked; Impressionist painter Claude Monet, for example, first encountered a Japanese print when it was being used as wrapping paper

Recommended Items at Auction

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UTAGAWA HIROSHIGE "KINRYUZAN TEMPLE" WOODBLOCK PRINT
Nov 07, 9:00 AM MST
UTAGAWA HIROSHIGE "KINRYUZAN TEMPLE" WOODBLOCK PRINT
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$1608 Bids
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TAKASHI ITO "TAKEGAWA RIVER AT DAWN" WOODBLOCK PRINT
Nov 07, 9:00 AM MST
TAKASHI ITO "TAKEGAWA RIVER AT DAWN" WOODBLOCK PRINT
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$1808 Bids
JAPANESE SHIBAYAMA URN & COVER
Oct 28, 9:00 AM PDT
JAPANESE SHIBAYAMA URN & COVER
by Abell Auction
Est: $300- $400
$7507 Bids
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KEISAI EISEN "VIEW OF LAKE SUWA FROM SHIOJIRI PASS" WOODBLOCK PRINT
Nov 07, 9:00 AM MST
KEISAI EISEN "VIEW OF LAKE SUWA FROM SHIOJIRI PASS" WOODBLOCK PRINT
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$456 Bids
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SHIRO KASAMATSU "CASTING A NET" WOODBLOCK PRINT
Nov 07, 9:00 AM MST
SHIRO KASAMATSU "CASTING A NET" WOODBLOCK PRINT
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$1706 Bids
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HASEGAWA SADANOBU III "NO. 3 A MAIKO WASHING HANDS" WOODBLOCK PRINT
Nov 07, 9:00 AM MST
HASEGAWA SADANOBU III "NO. 3 A MAIKO WASHING HANDS" WOODBLOCK PRINT
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$305 Bids
Katsuyuki Nishijima 3 Woodblock Prints
Nov 03, 10:00 AM CDT
Katsuyuki Nishijima 3 Woodblock Prints
by Revere Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$2204 Bids
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HASEGAWA SADANOBU III "NO. 2 A MAIKO ARRANGING FLOWERS" WOODBLOCK PRINT
Nov 07, 9:00 AM MST
HASEGAWA SADANOBU III "NO. 2 A MAIKO ARRANGING FLOWERS" WOODBLOCK PRINT
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$304 Bids
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Hiroshi Yoshida (Japanese, 1876-1950).
Nov 07, 10:00 AM EDT
Hiroshi Yoshida (Japanese, 1876-1950).
by Clarke Auction Gallery
Est: $300- $500
$3504 Bids
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MICHELE GAMBONI "HULL HOUSE" WOODBLOCK
Nov 07, 9:00 AM MST
MICHELE GAMBONI "HULL HOUSE" WOODBLOCK
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$204 Bids
JAPANESE CARVED BOXWOOD FIGURE OF A SEATED MAN
Oct 28, 9:00 AM PDT
JAPANESE CARVED BOXWOOD FIGURE OF A SEATED MAN
by Abell Auction
Est: $300- $400
$2753 Bids
KATSUSHIKA HOKUSAI (1760-1849) EDO PERIOD
Nov 05, 10:00 AM GMT
KATSUSHIKA HOKUSAI (1760-1849) EDO PERIOD
by Lyon & Turnbull
Est: £200- £300
£1202 Bids
PAUL JACOULET, FRENCH (1896-1960) COLOR WOODBLOCK
Nov 03, 11:00 AM EDT
PAUL JACOULET, FRENCH (1896-1960) COLOR WOODBLOCK
by Westport Auction
Est: $50- $1,000
$1102 Bids
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HIROSHI YOSHIDA (Japanese, 1876-1950).
Nov 07, 10:00 AM EDT
HIROSHI YOSHIDA (Japanese, 1876-1950).
by Clarke Auction Gallery
Est: $300- $500
$2502 Bids
A Japanese Hand Painted Plaque
Nov 14, 11:00 AM AEDT
A Japanese Hand Painted Plaque
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD60- AUD120
AUD352 Bids
KUMI SUGAI (Japanese 1919–1996) A PRINT, "Untitled (Abstract Composition)," circa 1960,
Nov 13, 9:00 AM CST
KUMI SUGAI (Japanese 1919–1996) A PRINT, "Untitled (Abstract Composition)," circa 1960,
by Houston Auction Company
Est: $150- $250
$2002 Bids
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2 Japanese Woodblock Prints
Nov 03, 10:00 AM EDT
2 Japanese Woodblock Prints
by Barry S. Slosberg Inc
Est: $60- $120
$301 Bid
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3 Japanese Woodblock Prints
Nov 03, 10:00 AM EDT
3 Japanese Woodblock Prints
by Barry S. Slosberg Inc
Est: $100- $200
$301 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Japanese Prints


Signens Kunstauktionen

Signens Kunstauktionen

Nagel Auction

Nagel Auction

Bonhams

Bonhams