Bird Print History


Published by the Reader Collection, Ontario Canada, 2014  ISBN 978-0-9937035-1-5





Reader Collection > Guides > History of Japanese Art: Bird Prints




I have been interested in birds and their depiction in art for many years. I find Japanese bird prints particularly interesting because they are delightfully diverse. This diversity applies not only to the species of birds depicted but also to the artistic style of depiction. With the help of bird identification guides I was able to identify the bird species drawn by Japanese print artists but it was more challenging to understand why these artists drew birds using different styles. There were no stylistic guides available for Japanese bird prints. For help I turned to books about Japanese art and discovered that it changed from being influenced initially by Chinese art to later being influenced by European art. To determine whether this historical shift in influence helped to explain stylistic diversity in bird prints I arranged the prints chronologically and compared their characteristics with those of Chinese and European art. This book includes my findings. In this book I also explain how the species of birds chosen for depiction by Japanese bird printmakers changed through time and include examples of the work of notable printmakers active during different periods. I hope that this history of the how (i.e., style), what (i.e., bid species) and who (i.e., artist) of Japanese bird prints helps others to better understand and appreciate their delightful diversity.







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