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JAPANESE WOOD ENGRAVINGS

of the charm of the more prized impressions has been contributed by the artistic feeling of the printer after the designer and engraver had done their work.

If we are to judge Japanese engraving by the effects produced, it is hard to assign its due place in the xylographic art of the world, on account of the imperfect evolution of the art it seeks to express. The Japanese painter clings to many a useless convention that has no

Japanese Wood Engravings-1895-091.jpg

Fig. 37—Reduced from a woodcut in the European style, published in the Myako no hana (1888).

foundation in nature. The objects in his picture must show neither shadows, projected or otherwise, nor high lights; his night-scene has no darkness; the water of his lake or river neither reflects nor refracts; the features of his men and women must conform to a set type; the limbs of man or horse are indicated by lines that caricature the forms of anatomy; and his perspective is inconsistent with optical laws. All