Black on White
Monochromatic Japanese Prints
December 8, 2000 - March 4, 2001
The fully developed art of Japanese color woodblock printing had its roots in a variety of sources, including Buddhist printing and the illustration of printed books. Early ukiyo-e woodblock prints of the 17th and early 18th centuries were executed in black ink only, and their subject matter was often tied to the tradition of illustration from which they were evolving. Even after artists were able to produce “brocade pictures” (nishiki-e) from numerous color blocks, their interest in black ink as a medium for depiction nevertheless remained.