Literally meaning “Pictures of the Floating World,” ukiyo-e refers to a style of Japanese woodblock print and painting from the Edo period depicting famous theater actors, beautiful courtesans, city life, travel in romantic landscapes, and erotic scenes. The Floating World—as the pleasure districts of Edo (modern-day Tokyo) were called—exemplifies the sensory pleasures of urban life, but also offers a bittersweet reminder of the fleeting nature of worldly delights. It’s commonly said that in Edo Japan, anyone could own a masterpiece ukiyo-e print for about the price of a bowl of noodles. While this claim oversimplifies, it is true that by the 17th century, ukiyo-e printmakers innovated centuries-old woodblock text printing techniques to …

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This is based on the artwork’s average dimension.