Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858)

Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858), was a Japanese painter and print-maker, known especially for his landscape prints. Widely regarded as one of six great Ukiyo-e (“pictures of the floating world”) masters of the color woodblock print, he transmuted everyday landscapes into intimate, lyrical scenes…His genius for such compositions earned him recognition from the Impressionists & Post-Impressionists.  “Japanese woodblock prints provided an artistic alternative—in the use of color, perspective, and spatial structure—for presenting changes in society.”

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                                    (Hiroshige, Chrysanthemums)

 Hiroshige extended the tradition of Ukiyo prints and challenged concepts regarding traditional representation of famous Japanese places. His incorporation of Western perspective, through a use of traditional representational modes, created a rich and dynamic visual-vocabulary for his series. Hiroshige’s influence can be seen in the works of Western artists, such as Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, and James Abbott McNeill Whistler. Plum Estate, Kameido (print #30) provides viewers with a look at an estate in Kameido-Tokyo, Japan, and is connected to the spring series of One Hundred Views of Edo. The image is one Hiroshige’s best known pieces and was reproduced by Vincent van Gogh in 1887. The eclectic nature of this print, its flat shapes and unique perspective, seems reminiscent of a time of blossoming in Edo. The work speaks profoundly to the Japanese tradition and woodblock printmaking.

(Sources: Teach Art Wiki: Utagawa Hiroshige, iBiblio Web Museum: Art of the Edo Period: Andō Hiroshige, Brooklyn Museum: Hiroshige’s One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, The Woodblock Prints of Andō Hiroshige)

 
Selected Works
 
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(Above: Hiroshige, Moon over the Waterfall)

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(Above: Hiroshige, Hakone Kosuizu)

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(Above: Hiroshige, Shrines in Snowy Mountains)

 

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(Above: Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando) (Japanese, 1797-1858). Plum Estate, Kameido (Kameido Umeyashiki), No. 30 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 11th month of 1857)

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(Above: Hiroshige, Iris, 1856)

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(Above: Hiroshige, Hibiscus, 1845)

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(Above: Hiroshige, Kameido Shrine)

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(Above: Hiroshige, Kinryuzan Temple at Asakusa)

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(Above: Hiroshige, Sumidazutsumi uchu no sakura (from Famous View of Edo), ca. 1835)

 

 

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(Above: Hiroshige,  Sugatami Bridge, Omokage (from 100 Views of Edo), ca. 1856-58)

 

 

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