Excerpt from A History of Japanese Colour-Prints: With Illustrations in Colour and Black and White
The first comprehensive survey of Japanese wood-engraving, Anderson's monograph in the Porqfolio, appeared in I895. The first attempt to write a history of this art was Strange'... s totally inadequate Japanese Illustration of 1897. Unfortunately, Strange had published before he was able to take advantage of the new light thrown upon his subject by Fenollosa, in his illuminating Catalogue of 1896, The Master: of Ukiyoye. The only remaining sources of information for the student were a number of scattered articles, monographs, exhibition catalogues, and sale catalogues, and it seemed to me that I might do a useful work by gathering together all this disjointed learning into a coherent whole. Japanese art has become an element in our European culture it supplies certain needs of our age, and makes distinctly for its progress. But in order to appreciate Japanese wood-engraving to the full, we must know the inter relation between the various artists, and the successive stages of development in their art; we also require a criterion by which to test individual essays, that we may not rest content with weak and imitative work when the best is within reach. A survey of Japanese wood-engraving which would serve these ends was the task I accordingly set before me.
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