Takata riding ground

Utagawa Hiroshige
1797 - 1858
Takata riding ground
Takata no baba
Woodblock print, nishiki-e
Vertical ōban, 375 x 253 mm

Signed: Hiroshige ga.
Publisher: Uoya Eikichi
Censorship: Aratame
Date seal: Snake / 10

Series: One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, Winter no. 115
            Meisho Edo hyakkei

Fine impression, with mica powder on the tree, fine colour and condition, uncut sheet.

This is one of the most famous series by Hiroshige. This  print, the 115th, depicts the riding grounds created in 1636 in the outskirts of Edo and used by samurai for military exercises. To the left in the foreground, behind the tree, we see a target for archery, here also practiced riding (yabusame). In the distant background we see two horsemen riding and, at the right, a small group of warriors is practicing archery on the target.

The Edward Burr Van Vleck Collection of Japanese Prints, Elvehjem Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1990; p. 136.

Price: 2,800.00 €

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.

Other works of the master