Japanese Woodblock Print 05 - Geisha Naniwaya Okita by Utamaro Kitagawa
Woodblock print (Woodblock printing in Japan (木版画, moku-hanga) is a technique best known for its use in the ukiyo-e artistic genre of single sheets, but it was also used for printing books in the same period)
Kitagawa Utamaro (喜多川 歌麿; c. 1753 - 31 October 1806) was a Japanese artist. He is one of the most highly regarded practitioners of the ukiyo-e genre of woodblock prints, especially for his portraits of beautiful women, or bijin-ga. He also produced nature studies, particularly illustrated books of insects.
Utamaro's work reached Europe in the mid-nineteenth century, where it was very popular, enjoying particular acclaim in France. He influenced the European Impressionists, particularly with his use of partial views and his emphasis on light and shade, which they imitated. The reference to the "Japanese influence" among these artists often refers to the work of Utamaro.