Edo Pop Exhibition Comes to The Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village

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Travel to the bustling metropolis of Edo through 19th-century Japanese woodblock prints. Discover the dynamic history of Edo (1604-1868), modern day Tokyo, a thriving hub that flourished during a time of seclusion and tranquillity.


Focusing on the period 1825 – 1895, this will be the first public display for a number of these works, which were hugely popular in 19th century Japan and also in Europe, where prints were collected by artists including Rossetti, Whistler, Van Gogh and Monet.

From domestic scenes to the entertainment district (Yoshiwara), be immersed in the captivating world of Ukiyo-e, the intricate Japanese woodblock prints that portray the characters and daily lives of Edo’s locals. Initially commissioned as a commercial art form by renowned personas like kabuki actors, geishas, and courtesans, these prints served as a favoured means of entertainment before the dawn of photography in the late 1800s. Meticulously handcrafted, these prints were adored by the residents of Edo, as acquiring one was as simple and affordable as a bowl of noodles.

Generously loaned by Frank Milner, art historian and writer.

Find out more here. Members of Historic Houses gain free admission to the exhibition. The exhibition is on from 19 March until 6 October 2024.

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