Customer Reviews


4 Reviews
5 star:
 (3)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful selections
Shunga, the traditional Japanese "images of spring", offer endless variety in their depictions of erotic interludes. Different examples feature humor, drama, affection, elegance, or wild abandon, often in combinations. For many reasons, including social nudity in public baths, mere undress held little erotic interest. As a result, shunga imagery often emphasizes rich...
Published on December 5, 2010 by wiredweird

versus
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poem of the Pillow
Book was in excellent condition and arrived quickly. Gave three stars because the content of the book was just average to a little above.
Published 22 months ago by artbook buyer


Most Helpful First | Newest First

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful selections, December 5, 2010
This review is from: Poem of the Pillow and Other Stories By Utamaro, Hokusai, Kuniyoshi, and Other Artists of the Floating World (Hardcover)
Shunga, the traditional Japanese "images of spring", offer endless variety in their depictions of erotic interludes. Different examples feature humor, drama, affection, elegance, or wild abandon, often in combinations. For many reasons, including social nudity in public baths, mere undress held little erotic interest. As a result, shunga imagery often emphasizes rich clothing or other trappings of the pleasure quarters. This tradition carries other non-Western elements as well, including references to Japanese myth and history. Then there are visual conventions that might startle a Western eye, not least the mammoth exaggerations of his and her genitals favored by so many artists.

Calza presents a gorgeous cross-section of this erotic tradition. Nearly two dozen chapters sample the works of individual artists, very roughly in chronological order. These include famous artists, like Utamaro and Hokusai, as well as images by lesser-known masters. A brief intro summarizes each artist's life, when known, but after that the pictures speak for themselves. This organization lets the reader contrast the styles of different artists and eras, and to understand what make each artist's contribution unique. Thorough end matter describes each work, and offers a helpful glossary, index, and bibliography.

A few points might deserve clarification. First, although the title claims "Poem of the Pillow and other stories," the stories themselves do not appear here, except for vague narrative within the pictures. Second, Amazon's description states that the book is 384 pages long. My copy has pages numbered to 463. Also, this book comes with a heavy plastic slip-cover, something sure to help defend the book against its eager readers. The color printing captures subtleties of color beautifully, but one might ask more opacity in the pages' paper. On the whole, I recommend this as a lovely and informative addition to any collection of Eastern or erotic art.

-- wiredweird
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Unique Images, September 29, 2011
This review is from: Poem of the Pillow and Other Stories By Utamaro, Hokusai, Kuniyoshi, and Other Artists of the Floating World (Hardcover)
In the West, the nude form was held in high regard as an object of athleticism, grace and beauty from antiquity forward. But while the naked body was admired, depictions of the act of sex was seen as sinful and corrupting and hence poorly represented historically. The opposite situation prevailed in Japan, as the Greco-Roman exultation of the nude was unknown and sex was not associated with grave moral sin. Thus, we have the art-form known as Shunga, or Japanese erotic prints, that proliferated during the golden age of Ukiyo-e woodblock prints. In Poem of the Pillow and Other Stories Gian Carlo Calza masterfully overviews this fascinating topic.

The book covers a period from about 1660-1860 which lets the reader see the development of the art form in addition to seeing the evolution of Japanese fashion over this time. Twenty three artists are covered from the little known Kabun Master to the very famous Katsushika Hokusai whose The Great Wave off Kanagawa probably hangs in about one in every four dorm rooms in the United States. Each chapter starts with a small inset, which is a very clever design that lets you easily flip back and forth between images, that gives a brief biography of the artist and then puts his work in context. In addition, some of the more important works are examined briefly. This format does a good job on introducing the topic of Shunga but, given such a broad overview details are necessarily lacking. However, there are literally hundreds of very high quality images in this book and flipping through the list of works in the back, it is clear that many of these images are very rare. So, unless you are an academic specializing in Shunga, it would otherwise be very difficult to see these works. This is a beautiful book of art history that I highly recommend.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My opinion, September 8, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Poem of the Pillow and Other Stories By Utamaro, Hokusai, Kuniyoshi, and Other Artists of the Floating World (Hardcover)
This is exactly what i was hoping it would be. Only took two weeks to get it and it contains many beautiful and intricate artworks by the best ukiyo-e artists of medieval Japan. It even came with a free print! I recommend this book for any shunga art or ukiyo-e art fan!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poem of the Pillow, October 25, 2012
This review is from: Poem of the Pillow and Other Stories By Utamaro, Hokusai, Kuniyoshi, and Other Artists of the Floating World (Hardcover)
Book was in excellent condition and arrived quickly. Gave three stars because the content of the book was just average to a little above.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Poem of the Pillow and Other Stories By Utamaro, Hokusai, Kuniyoshi, and Other Artists of the Floating World
$49.95 $40.49
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.