Hiroshige II Utagawa, Kiso Gorge, One Hundred Famous Views in the Various Provinces

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JG091850
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Artist: Hiroshige II Utagawa (1826-1869)
Title: 33. Snow on the Kiso Gorge, Shinshu (Shinano) Province
Series: One Hundred Famous Views in the Various Provinces
Publisher: Uoya Eikichi
Date: 1859
Size: 25.2 x 37.2 cm

Original Japanese woodblock print.

 

As night approaches, a lone traveller ascends the snowy Kiso Gorge. The well trodden routes were express ways between the two prominent cities of Kyoto and Edo, taking everyone from messengers, pilgrims to warlords through Japan’s mountainous landscape. Vibrancy is lent to the pure white scene by the resilient evergreen pines emerging and balancing on the valley sides.

Hiroshige II Utagawa (1826 - 1869)


In the genre of Japanese art, Hiroshige II Utagawa was a woodblock print artist best known for continuing the tradition of Hiroshige I Utagawa in producing landscape prints. Born in Edo (today’s Tokyo), many details of his formative years are unknown, except that he became a pupil of Hiroshige I under the name of Shigenobu. Hiroshige II produced a large number of commissioned work in the 1850s in the style of the elder Hiroshige, and often signed his work ‘Ichiryusai mon’ (student of Ichiryusai, another art name of Hiroshige).

He seems to have married Hiroshige’s daughter Otatsu and inherited Hiroshige’s name following his death in 1858. In 1865 he moved from Edo to Yokohama after dissolving his marriage and began using the name Kisai Rissho. During this decade he produced a number of collaborative print series, particularly with Kunisada, who had earlier worked with Hiroshige I.

His works have often been confounded with those of Hiroshige I, resembling them closely in style, subject, and even signature, particularly in series such as ‘One Hundred Famous Views in the Various Provinces’ (1859-61) that echo his master’s ‘Famous Views of the Sixty-odd Provinces’ (1853-56). ‘One Hundred Famous Views of Edo’ (1856-58), also mainly completed by Hiroshige I, was finished by Hiroshige II following the former’s death. While the signature on this series of prints remain the same, the later designs show stylistic resemblance to those of Hiroshige II. The artist’s other notable series include ‘Eight Views of the Sumida River’ (1861) and ‘Thirty-six Views of the Eastern Capital’ (1861-62).

More Information
Print FormatOban (Vertical)
ArtistHiroshige II Utagawa (1826 - 1869)
SubjectLandscapes
Size25.2 x 37.2 cm
Condition ReportStamp on back of print. Minor stain centre right.
SeriesOne Hundred Famous Views in the Various Provinces::Hiroshige II Utagawa
publisherUoya Eikichi:1855-1866