Hiroshige Ando, Onagi Canal, Five Pines, One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, Landscape, Prussian Blue


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Artist: Hiroshige I Ando (1797-1858)
Title: 97. Five Pines, Onagi Canal
Series: One Hundred Famous Views of Edo
Publisher: Uoya Eikichi
Date: 1856
Dimensions: 24.4 x 36 cm

A calm sunset view from Hiroshige’s final oeuvre One Hundred Famous View’s of Edo. This almost unworldly landscape is brought to effect by Hiroshige’s deliberate eschewing of reality. Preferring form and balanced composition over the actual views he sought to depict, in these idealised vistas his imagination could roam freely. The straight stretch of the Onagi Canel supplely curves out of view in Hiroshige’s rendition, meeting the hazy red sunset in the distance. An old tree, known as the Five Pines, grows over the water, propped up by stilts to keep it from falling into the canal. This practice has continued from the Edo period to today in Japan, where a deep reverence for trees among other natural entities is still held. A man in the boat can be seen languidly dragging his towel in the water, encapsulating the carefree atmosphere of this tranquil scene.

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