York Art Gallery

Opening 28 May 2021 / free entry

Book your tickets here for 16 June – 1 August.

A new display featuring rarely seen Japanese Ukiyo-e prints alongside much-loved paintings from our collection will go on show in a new Spotlight Series celebrating the reopening of York Art Gallery next month.

‘Pictures of the Floating World: Japanese Ukiyo-e Prints’ will feature prints by prominent Ukiyo-e artists such as Utagawa Hiroshige, along with works by those influenced by Japanese art, such as public favourites Albert Moore and Walter Greaves. This unique display will highlight the significant impact of Japanese art on the western world and the consequential rise of artistic movements such as Aestheticism and Art Nouveau.

“Ukiyo-e translates as “pictures of the floating world”, referring to the transitory nature of life. Visitors will see delicate prints depicting scenes celebrating everyday life, through themes such as landscape and travel, actors and courtesans, and folk tales.

This show will delve into the history of the works, explaining why Japanese art became increasingly influential during the 18th and 19th centuries. With the variety of artwork on display, visitors will see how western artists were inspired by the use of line and colour, and how Japanese artists were influenced by western artists’ use of shading and perspective.