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London

The British Museum

Exhibition Detail
Shunga: Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art
Great Russell Street
London WC1B 3DG
United Kingdom


October 3rd, 2013 - January 5th
Opening: 
October 3rd, 2013 10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
 
Sexual dalliance between a man and geisha, Nishikawa SukenobuNishikawa Sukenobu,
Sexual dalliance between a man and geisha,
c. 1711–1716, Hand-coloured woodblock print
© The Trustees of the British Museum.
 Lovers in the upstairs room of a teahouse, from Utamakura (Poem of the Pillow), Kitagawa Utamaro (d. 1806)Kitagawa Utamaro (d. 1806),
Lovers in the upstairs room of a teahouse, from Utamakura (Poem of the Pillow),
1788, Sheet from a colour-woodblock printed album
© The Trustees of the British Museum
detail taken from Sode no maki (Handscroll for the Sleeve), Torii KiyonagaTorii Kiyonaga,
detail taken from Sode no maki (Handscroll for the Sleeve),
c. 1785
© Courtesy of The British Museum
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holborn, covent garden
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OPEN HOURS:  
Sat-Thu 10-5:30; Fri 10-8:30
TAGS:  
prints
> DESCRIPTION

Discover Japanese prints, paintings and drawings like no other.

 

Produced from 1600 to 1900 and banned in Japan for much of the 20th century, these explicit and beautifully detailed erotic paintings, prints and books inspired Toulouse-Lautrec, Beardsley, Rodin and Picasso.

 

Mostly created by the artists of the ukiyo-e or ‘floating world’ school, these popular works were known as shunga, - literally  ‘spring pictures’. They appealed to all classes in Japan for almost 300 years, and to men and women alike. Frequently tender and humorous, they celebrate sexual pleasure in all its forms in brilliantly coloured paintings and prints, culminating with beautiful and explicit works by iconic artists Utamaro, Hokusai and Kunisada.

 

Within Japan, shunga has continued to influence modern forms of art, including manga, anime and Japanese tattoo art. The exhibition sheds new light on this unique art form within Japanese social and cultural history.

 


Supported by Shunga in Japan LLP

Part of Japan400


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