May 12th, 2009

kuniyoshi exhibition

'Fashionable octopus games' by Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 1840-42, colour woodblock

In my last post, I said I'd just been left babbling incoherently on the floor of the Royal Academy after the sheer awesomeness of their Kuniyoshi exhibition.

It took me about five hours to get around to all the pictures; there was always the initial excitement over the strong compositions and remarkably well-preserved colour, considering these prints are so old (Utagawa Kuniyoshi lived in Japan from 1797 to 1861). Then I'd start looking more closely and get lost in the amazing drawing technique and often hilarious details. Here are some of the visual notes I made in my sketchbook:

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