Hiroshige Ando, Yoshitsune’s Cherry Tree, The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido Road
Artist: Hiroshige Ando (1797-1858)
Title: 45. Ishiyakushi: Yoshitsune's Cherry Tree and the Shrine of Noriyori
Series: The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido Road
Publisher: Tsutaya Kichizo
Dimensions: 24.2 x 36 cm
Original Japanese woodblock print.
This spring scene in one of the post stations along the Tokaido Road was famously depicted by Vincent van Gogh in his Portrait of Père Tanguy (1887). When Japanese woodblock prints began to circulate around Europe in the late nineteenth century, they caused a sensation among artists tired of the dominant conservative style of the academies. What had been regarded as common culture by the townsmen class of Japan, was seen as high art by many European artists inspired by the striking compositions and surreal palette used in these woodblock prints.
Hiroshige Ando’s rural depiction of farmers out on the rice fields beside a blooming kabazakura, a birch-like cherry tree known locally in Ishiyakushi as Yoshitsune’s cherry tree, clearly caught the attention of van Gogh who decided to include it in his work.
|Print Format||Oban (Vertical)|
|Artist Name||Hiroshige Ando|
|Title||Ishiyakushi - Yoshitsune’s Cherry Tree and the Shrine of Noriyori|
|Dimensions||36 x 24.2 cm|
|Condition Report||Pinholes. Horizontal centrefold.|
|Series||The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido|
Ando Hiroshige, who is best known for his landscape prints, is considered one of the six greatest Japanese printmakers in Ukiyo-e history and is said to have influenced Western impressionists, such as Van Gogh and Claude Monet, through his use of perspective. 1831 is the year when his first landscape series ‘Famous Places of The Eastern Capital’ (Toto Meisho) was published and the following year Hiroshige passed on his family responsibilities to his relatives to dedicate his entire energy to printmaking, changing his pen name further to reflect the change in his life. In the same year (1832), Hiroshige was appointed by Bakufu, the feudal government of Japan to accompany an official procession from Edo to Kyoto and then the residence of the emperor along the Tokaido road. The artist made many sketches during the journeys, resulting in the production of his most acclaimed series ‘Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido Road’ in the next two years. This series received a huge commercial success. It was rare for an artist (and regular people in general) to be able to travel and sketch landscapes from life rather than the imagination during the Edo period. The ten-year period of 1833-1843 is thought to have been Hiroshige’s most developed and innovative time as an artist. A lot of series that were produced during this time, such as ‘Sixty-nine Stations of Kisokaido Road’, ‘Eight Views of Omi’ and ‘Famous Places of Kyoto’, would lead to the peak of his career when he produced the ‘Famous Views of Sixty-odd Provinces’, ‘Thirty-six Views of Mt Fuji’ and his last great series, ‘One Hundred Famous Views of Edo’.