Timeless Works Available September 17

Stefek’s presents a selection of Japanese woodblock prints in the coming “Prints, Fine Art, and Mid-Century Finds Auction” which will be held Thursday, Sept. 17.

The collection includes work by Katsushika Hokusai, Utagawa Hiroshige, Kitagawa Utamaro, Kikugawa Eizan, and more highly regarded Japanese artists.

The selection features both framed and unframed woodblock prints. Many of the works on offer Sept. 17 are fine examples of ukiyo-e or “pictures of the floating world,” a genre of woodblock printing that became popular in Japan during the Edo period (1603-1868).

Japanese woodblock printmaking, mokuhanga, largely utilizes water-based inks to create a long-lasting palette filled with bright colors and clear glazes. Images include scenes from daily life, historical figures, kabuki actors, natural subjects, and brilliant examples of Hokusai’s famed “Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji.”

The tradition began in 764 when the Empress Kōken commissioned one million woodblock scrolls printed with a Buddhist scripture, the Hyakumantō Darani. Each scroll was placed into a miniature wooden pagoda and distributed to temples around Japan, a million expressions of thanks for loyalty to the throne during a time of rebellion. About 5,000 of the scrolls remain extant today, examples of early mass communication.

The Sept. 17 auction also offers assorted fine art prints that include “Edmond Sagot” and “Etrennes aux Dames” by Gustav Marie, etchings after Rembrandt, and prints after Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Theophile Steinlen, and Emile Berchmans by Imprimerie Chaix for the “Les Maitres de l’Affiche” series. Also available are fine examples of Mid-Century designs and functional arts.

For details and a link to the complete auction catalogue, please visit https://stefeksauctions.com/prints-fine-art-and-mid-century-finds-auction/.