Hiroshige I Utagawa, Chiyogaike, One Hundred Famous Views of Edo
Artist: Hiroshige Ando (1797-1858)
Title: 23. Chiyogaike Pond in Meguro
Series: One Hundred Famous Views of Edo
Publisher: Uoya Eikichi
Dimensions: 24 x 36.3 cm
Original Japanese woodblock print.
This quiet and unassuming spring scene showcases Hiroshige’s compositional play notable throughout his final oeuvre, One Hundred Famous Views of Edo. Gently resting on the upper part of the print are softly rounded clouds known as suyarigasumi, a motif often employed in classical Japanese art. Conversely, both in structure and inspiration, trees are shown reflected in the pond. During the time this print was produced, realism in art was still regarded as a Western exoticism. Techniques like perspective and reflections were not a necessary requirement in Japanese art and were treated with scepticism by some contemporary critics. However, Hiroshige combined both classical Japanese and Western artistic practices, subtly striking a balance between past and present.
|Artist Name||Hiroshige Ando|
|Title||Chiyogaike Pond in Meguro|
|Dimensions||24 x 36.3 cm|
|Condition Report||Some pinholes and binding holes.|
|Series||One Hundred Famous Views of Edo|
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’.