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Beauty of the Moment

Women in Japanese Woodblock Prints

written by Katharina Epprecht

Verlag Scheidegger & Spiess | ISBN 9783858813572

Paperback – 182 pages


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During the heyday of the Japanese coloured woodblock print around 1800, an ordinary print filled the same purpose as modern commercial graphic art. Mainly because of European art lovers' growing enthusiasm for these subtle, refined compositions, some artists and their work soon gained worldwide recognition and fame. Capturing the fugitive moment is a key element of Japanese woodblock prints, for which Japanese language has the term 'ukiyoe', 'images of the fluid, transient world'. 'Bijin-ga', 'images of beautiful women' is a specific kind of such prints, paying tribute to women by capturing a moment of irretrievable magic. The graceful look of a self-assured beauty of a very private situation's intimacy have stimulated many artists to create their greatest works. 'The Beauty of the Moment' presents around 100 'Bijin-ga' by the best known masters of Japanese woodblock printing. Included are particularly exquisite pieces using 'kirazuri', a technique using powdered brass or mica dust highly polished on a light film of glue to imitate gold dust on the surface of the print. This book accompanies an exhibition Die Schonheit des Augenblicks (The Beauty of the Moment) at the Museum Rietberg in Zurich. Text in English and German.

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