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From Harunobu to Hasui

Japanese Prints across the centuries
23 May 2023 | starting at 12:00 BST

On 23 May, Bonhams Japanese Department presents an unusually large curated sale of woodblock prints from British, Japanese, and European private collections. Our selection of nearly 500 prints (185 lots) offers a galaxy of images with instant visual appeal, from alluring beauties of the 'Floating World' to abstract compositions from the post-war era.

Other highlights include an album of famously explicit shunga (erotica) by Utamaro and Shuncho; exquisitely crafted surimono (specially commissioned small-format prints); and snowscapes, urban scenes, and other views of the changing Japan of the 1920s and 1930s as seen by such masters as Yoshida, Koson, Shotei, Shinsui and Kawase Hasui, whose works have recently experienced a worldwide surge in collector interest.

An additional highlight is a group of four extremely rare, early and hitherto unrecorded watercolours by the fascinating and flamboyant artist Paul Jacoulet (1902-1960), considered by the Japanese academician Tadashi Iizawa, to be "The Last Ukiyo-e Artist".

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