Artist: Hiroshige Andō (1797-1858)
Title: 23. Chiyogaike Pond, Meguro
Series: One Hundred Famous Views of Edo
Publisher: Uoya Eikichi
Dimensions: 24 x 36.3 cm
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.