June 15, 2013 – September 8, 2013
Ledger and Murray Galleries
Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839 – 1892) is widely regarded as the last great master of the ukiyo-e tradition in Japanese printmaking. He witnessed the great transition of Japan from the traditional Edo period to the westernization of the Meiji period and the struggle between the two can be seen in his works. Much of his work served as reminders to the Japanese people of the importance of their historical and cultural heritage.
The series displayed in this exhibition, 32 Aspects of Women, was produced in 1888 and remains one of his most respected bodies of work. His unique ability to express genuine emotion in his portrayal of his subjects has been highly praised. In these prints, Yoshitoshi chooses to highlight tradition over modernization by continuing to use the then-outdated ukiyo-e woodblock process instead of the modern mass reproduction techniques that were embraced by the younger generation of artists. In addition, most of the prints in this series feature women who display traditional Japanese values; only nine of the 32 images feature women of the Meiji period and only one of his subjects dons western apparel.