The river tone  at konodai
The river tone  at konodai
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New acquisitions: Japanese prints

Utagawa Hiroshige

1797 - 1858

The River Tone at Konodai - 1858/4

Colour woodblock
Size: Oban tate-e: mm 377 x 258
Signed: Hiroshige ga
Publisher: Tsutaya Kichizo
Series: ‘Thity-six Views of Mount Fuji’
            ‘Fuji sanjurokkei’
Date seal: 1858/4

Fine impression, colour and condition, with large margins all around.

Eleventh plate of the Series.

Comments on: Utagawa Hiroshige

Born in Edo in 1797, Hiroshige whilst still a teenager, was allowed to work in the studio of Utagawa Toyohiro, an artist with a preference for classical and landscape subjects. He studied also Nanga painting under the artist Ooka Umpo. In the 1812 he adopted the name Hiroshige. The first prints to be published under this name were images of beautiful women, a few surimono and landscapes in small format. In 1831 Hiroshige designed a successful series of Sights of Edo. In 1832 he accompanied the annual procession from Edo to the emperor in Kyoto along the Tokaido. During the journey, he sketched the scenes which he later put into the fifty-five prints which made up the celebrated series of views of the fifty-three post stations on the route. The series was revolutionary, the scenes had a naturalness and sense of immediacy that provoked instant popular appeal. This established Hiroshige as the painter of Tokaido scenes and, subsequently, he produced some thirty series on the same theme. Many highly successful landscape series would follow such as the Sixty-nine Stages on the Kiso Highway, the One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, the Thirty six Views of Mount Fuji. In his declining years, in addition to landscapes, he created an unique style in depicting birds and flowers.