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Ukiyo-e

Ukiyo-e is a genre of Japanese art which flourished from the 17th through 19th centuries. Its artists produced woodblock paintings of such subjects as female beauties; the term ukiyo-e translates as "picture of the floating world". Edo became the seat of government for the military dictatorship in the early 17th century; the merchant class at the bottom of the social order benefited most from the city's rapid economic growth. Many indulged in the entertainments of kabuki theatre and geisha of the pleasure districts; the term ukiyo came to describe this hedonistic lifestyle. Printed or painted ukiyo-e images of this environment emerged in the late 17th century and were popular with the merchant class, who had become wealthy enough to afford to decorate their homes with them; the earliest success was in the 1670s with Moronobu's paintings and monochromatic prints of beautiful women. Colour in prints came gradually—at first added by hand for special commissions. By the 1740s, artists such as Masanobu used multiple woodblocks to print areas of colour.

From the 1760s the success of Harunobu's "brocade prints" led to full-colour production becoming standard, each print made with numerous blocks. Specialists have prized the portraits of beauties and actors by masters such as Kiyonaga and Sharaku that came in the late 18th century. In the 19th century followed a pair of masters best remembered for their landscapes: the bold formalist Hokusai, whose Great Wave off Kanagawa is one of the best-known works of Japanese art. Following the deaths of these two masters, against the technological and social modernization that followed the Meiji Restoration of 1868, ukiyo-e production went into steep decline; some ukiyo-e artists specialized in making paintings. Artists carved their own woodblocks for printing; as printing was done by hand, printers were able to achieve effects impractical with machines, such as the blending or gradation of colours on the printing block. Ukiyo-e was central to forming the West's perception of Japanese art in the late 19th century–especially the landscapes of Hokusai and Hiroshige.

From the 1870s Japonism became a prominent trend and had a strong influence on the early Impressionists such as Degas and Monet, as well as Post-Impressionists such as van Gogh and Art Nouveau artists such as Toulouse-Lautrec. The 20th century saw a revival in Japanese printmaking: the shin-hanga genre capitalized on Western interest in prints of traditional Japanese scenes, the sōsaku-hanga movement promoted individualist works designed and printed by a single artist. Prints since the late 20th century have continued in an individualist vein made with techniques imported from the West. Japanese art since the Heian period had followed two principal paths: the nativist Yamato-e tradition, focusing on Japanese themes, best known by the works of the Tosa school; the Kanō school of painting incorporated features of both. Since antiquity, Japanese art had found patrons in the aristocracy, military governments, religious authorities; until the 16th century, the lives of the common people had not been a main subject of painting, when they were included, the works were luxury items made for the ruling samurai and rich merchant classes.

Works appeared by and for townspeople, including inexpensive monochromatic paintings of female beauties and scenes of the theatre and pleasure districts. The hand-produced nature of these shikomi-e limited the scale of their production, a limit, soon overcome by genres that turned to mass-produced woodblock printing. During a prolonged period of civil war in the 16th century, a class of politically powerful merchants had developed; these machishū had power over local communities. In the early 17th century Tokugawa Ieyasu unified the country and was appointed shōgun with supreme power over Japan, he consolidated his government in the village of Edo, required the territorial lords to assemble there in alternate years with their entourages. The demands of the growing capital drew many male labourers from the country, so that males came to make up nearly seventy percent of the population; the village grew during the Edo period from a population of 1800 to over a million in the 19th century. The centralized shogunate put an end to the power of the machishū and divided the population into four social classes, with the ruling samurai class at the top and the merchant class at the bottom.

While deprived of their political influence, those of the merchant class most benefited from the expanding economy of the Edo period, their improved lot allowed for leisure that many sought in the pleasure districts—in particular Yoshiwara in Edo—and collecting artworks to decorate their homes, which in earlier times had been well beyond their financial means. The experience of the pleasure quarters was open to those of sufficient wealth, manners, a

Mario Jurić

Mario Jurić is a Croatian astronomer. Jurić was born in Zagreb, he graduated from the University of Zagreb Faculty of Science, received a doctorate at Princeton University in 2007. He is the Data Management Project Scientist for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. Together with prolific amateur astronomer Korado Korlević, Jurić has co-discovered 125 asteroids, one comet, 183P/Korlević-Jurić, he took part in discovery of the Sloan Great Wall, at the time the largest known structure in the Universe. His co-discovery, the Koronian asteroid 22899 Alconrad is one of the smallest known binary asteroids in the main-belt. Homepage Large Synoptic Survey Telescope: Entering the Era of Petascale Optical Astronomy on YouTube

1974–75 Australian Film Institute Awards

The 17th Australian Film Awards ceremony, presented by the Australian Film Institute honoured the best Australian films of 1974 and 1975 and took place on 23 March 1975, at the Sydney Opera House, in Sydney, New South Wales. Actress Glenda Jackson hosted the ceremony. In the competition the Australian Film Institute presented awards across nine categories; the winners of the Golden Reel prize included feature film Sunday Too Far Away, tele-movie Billy and Percy, documentary Mr. Symbol Man. Awards were handed out in feature film categories for Best Actor, which went to Jack Thompson for Sunday Too Far Away and Petersen and Martin Vaughan for Billy and Percy. Winners of the gold prize. Winners of the silver prize. Winners of the bronze prize