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Beautiful Hiroshige Wood Block Print
This print is one of a pair of prints. It is by famed Japanese Artist Hiroshige or possibly one of the aprrentices also called Hiroshige. The print is framed with a red mat and a simple frame. The print is one of Hiroshige's typical scenes, with every day people trying to get things done in the rain. This was one of Hiroshiges strengths: he pictured life as he saw it at the time, including the weather and the way people reacted to it.
Utagawa Hiroshige (歌川 広重?, 1797 – October 12, 1858) was a Japanese ukiyo-e artist, and one of the last great artists in that tradition. He was also referred to as Andō Hiroshige (安藤 広重) (an irregular combination of family name and art name) and by the art name of Ichiyūsai Hiroshige (一幽斎廣重) He dominated landscape printmaking with his unique brand of intimate, almost small-scale works compared against the older traditions of landscape painting descended from Chinese landscape painters such as Sesshu. The travel prints generally depict travelers along famous routes experiencing the special attractions of various stops along the way. They travel in the rain, in snow, and during all of the seasons. In 1856, working with the publisher Uoya Eikichi, he created a series of luxury edition prints, made with the finest printing techniques including true gradation of color, the addition of mica to lend a unique iridescent effect, embossing, fabric printing, blind printing, and the use of glue printing (wherein ink is mixed with glue for a glittery effect). One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (issued serially between 1856 and 1859) was immensely popular. The set was published posthumously and some prints had not been completed — he had created over 100 on his own, but two were added by Hiroshige II after his death. In terms of style, Hiroshige is especially noted for using unusual vantage points, seasonal allusions, and striking colors. He adapted Western principles of perspective and receding space to his own works in order to achieve a sense of realistic depth. In particular, he worked extensively within the realm of meisho-e (名所絵) pictures of famous places. During the Edo period, tourism was also booming, leading to increased popular interest in travel. Travel guides abounded, and towns appeared along routes such as the Tōkaidō, a road that connected Edo with Kyoto. In the midst of this burgeoning travel culture, Hiroshige drew upon his own travels, as well as tales of others' adventures, for inspiration in creating his landscapes. For example, in The Fifty-three Stations on the Tōkaidō (1833), he illustrates anecdotes from Travels on the Eastern Seaboard (東海道中膝栗毛 Tōkaidōchū Hizakurige, 1802–1809) by Jippensha Ikku, a comedy describing the adventures of two bumbling travelers as they make their way along the same road. He had two apprentices who also were called Hiroshige. Measurements are: Frame 18" by 14", sight size is 13" by 9".
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