Utagawa Hiroshige (/ˌhɪəroʊˈʃiːɡeɪ/, also US: /ˌhɪərəˈ-/; Japanese: 歌川 広重 [ɯtaɡaɰa çiɾoɕiɡe]), born Andō Hiroshige (安藤 広重; 1797 – 12 October 1858), was a Japanese ukiyo-e artist, considered the last great master of that tradition.
Hiroshige is best known for his horizontal-format landscape series The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō and for his vertical-format landscape series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo. The subjects of his work were atypical of the ukiyo-e genre, whose typical focus was on beautiful women, popular actors, and other scenes of the urban pleasure districts of Japan's Edo period (1603–1868). The popular series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji by Hokusai was a strong influence on Hiroshige's choice of subject, though Hiroshige's approach was more poetic and ambient than Hokusai's bolder, more formal prints. Subtle use of color was essential in Hiroshige's prints, often printed with multiple impressions in the same area and with extensive use of bokashi (color gradation), both of which were rather labor-intensive techniques.
For scholars and collectors, Hiroshige's death marked the beginning of a rapid decline in the ukiyo-e genre, especially in the face of the westernization that followed the Meiji Restoration of 1868. Hiroshige's work came to have a marked influence on Western painting towards the close of the 19th century as a part of the trend in Japonism. Western artists, such as Manet and Monet, collected and closely studied Hiroshige's compositions. Vincent van Gogh even went so far as to paint copies of two of Hiroshige's prints from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo.
Memorial portrait of Hiroshige by Kunisada
|Died||12 October 1858 (aged 60–61)|
Hiroshige was born in 1797 in the Yayosu Quay section of the Yaesu area in Edo (modern Tokyo). He was of a samurai background, and is the great-grandson of Tanaka Tokuemon, who held a position of power under the Tsugaru clan in the northern province of Mutsu. Hiroshige's grandfather, Mitsuemon, was an archery instructor who worked under the name Sairyūken. Hiroshige's father, Gen'emon, was adopted into the family of Andō Jūemon, whom he succeeded as fire warden for the Yayosu Quay area.
Hiroshige went through several name changes as a youth: Jūemon, Tokubē, and Tetsuzō. He had three sisters, one of whom died when he was three. His mother died in early 1809, and his father followed later in the year, but not before handing his fire warden duties to his twelve-year-old son. He was charged with prevention of fires at Edo Castle, a duty that left him much leisure time.
Not long after his parents' deaths, perhaps at around fourteen, Hiroshige—then named Tokutarō— began painting. He sought the tutelage of Toyokuni of the Utagawa school, but Toyokuni had too many pupils to make room for him. A librarian introduced him instead to Toyohiro of the same school. By 1812 Hiroshige was permitted to sign his works, which he did under the art name Hiroshige. He also studied the techniques of the well-established Kanō school, the nanga whose tradition began with the Chinese Southern School, and the realistic Shijō school, and likely the perspective techniques of Western art and uki-e.
Hiroshige's apprentice work included book illustrations and single-sheet ukiyo-e prints of female beauties and kabuki actors in the Utagawa style, sometimes signing them Ichiyūsai or, from 1832, Ichiryūsai. In 1823, he resigned his post as fire warden, though he still acted as an alternate.[a] He declined an offer to succeed Toyohiro upon the master's death in 1828.
It was not until 1829–1830 that Hiroshige began to produce the landscapes he has come to be known for, such as the Eight Views of Ōmi series. He also created an increasing number of bird and flower prints about this time. About 1831, his Ten Famous Places in the Eastern Capital appeared, and seem to bear the influence of Hokusai, whose popular landscape series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji had recently seen publication.
An invitation to join an official procession to Kyoto in 1832 gave Hiroshige the opportunity to travel along the Tōkaidō route that linked the two capitals. He sketched the scenery along the way, and when he returned to Edo he produced the series The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō, which contains some of his best-known prints. Hiroshige built on the series' success by following it with others, such as the Illustrated Places of Naniwa (1834), Famous Places of Kyoto (1835), another Eight Views of Ōmi (1834). As he had never been west of Kyoto, Hiroshige-based his illustrations of Naniwa (modern Osaka) and Ōmi Province on pictures found in books and paintings.
Hiroshige's first wife helped finance his trips to sketch travel locations, in one instance selling some of her clothing and ornamental combs. She died in October 1838, and Hiroshige remarried to Oyasu,[b] sixteen years his junior, daughter of a farmer named Kaemon from Tōtōmi Province.
Around 1838 Hiroshige produced two series entitled Eight Views of the Edo Environs, each print accompanied by a humorous kyōka poem. The Sixty-nine Stations of the Kiso Kaidō saw print between about 1835 and 1842, a joint production with Keisai Eisen, of which Hiroshige's share was forty-six of the seventy prints. Hiroshige produced 118 sheets for the One Hundred Famous Views of Edo over the last decade of his life, beginning about 1848.
Hiroshige lived in the barracks until the age of 43. Gen'emon and his wife died in 1809, when Hiroshige was 12 years old, just a few months after his father had passed the position on to him. Although his duties as a fire-fighter were light, he never shirked these responsibilities, even after he entered training in Utagawa Toyohiro's studio. He eventually turned his firefighter position over to his brother, Tetsuzo, in 1823, who in turn passed on the duty to Hiroshige's son in 1832.
Hiroshige II was a young print artist, Chinpei Suzuki, who married Hiroshige's daughter, Otatsu. He was given the artist name of "Shigenobu". Hiroshige intended to make Shigenobu his heir in all matters, and Shigenobu adopted the name "Hiroshige" after his master's death in 1858, and thus today is known as Hiroshige II. However, the marriage to Otatsu was troubled and in 1865 they separated. Otatsu was remarried to another former pupil of Hiroshige, Shigemasa, who appropriated the name of the lineage and today is known as Hiroshige III. Both Hiroshige II and Hiroshige III worked in a distinctive style based on that of Hiroshige, but neither achieved the level of success and recognition accorded to their master. Other students of Hiroshige I include Utagawa Shigemaru, Utagawa Shigekiyo, and Utagawa Hirokage.
In his declining years, Hiroshige still produced thousands of prints to meet the demand for his works, but few were as good as those of his early and middle periods. He never lived in financial comfort, even in old age. In no small part, his prolific output stemmed from the fact that he was poorly paid per series, although he was still capable of remarkable art when the conditions were right — his great One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (名所江戸百景 Meisho Edo Hyakkei) was paid for up-front by a wealthy Buddhist priest in love with the daughter of the publisher, Uoya Eikichi (a former fishmonger).
In 1856, Hiroshige "retired from the world," becoming a Buddhist monk; this was the year he began his One Hundred Famous Views of Edo. He died aged 62 during the great Edo cholera epidemic of 1858 (whether the epidemic killed him is unknown) and was buried in a Zen Buddhist temple in Asakusa. Just before his death, he left a poem:
(The Western Land in this context refers to the strip of land by the Tōkaidō between Kyoto and Edo, but it does double duty as a reference to the paradise of the Amida Buddha).
Despite his productivity and popularity, Hiroshige was not wealthy—his commissions were less than those of other in-demand artists, amounting to an income of about twice the wages of a day labourer. His will left instructions for the payment of his debts.
Hiroshige produced over 8,000 works. He largely confined himself in his early work to common ukiyo-e themes such as women (美人画 bijin-ga) and actors (役者絵 yakusha-e). Then, after the death of Toyohiro, Hiroshige made a dramatic turnabout, with the 1831 landscape series Famous Views of the Eastern Capital (東都名所 Tōto Meisho) which was critically acclaimed for its composition and colors. This set is generally distinguished from Hiroshige's many print sets depicting Edo by referring to it as Ichiyūsai Gakki, a title derived from the fact that he signed it as Ichiyūsai Hiroshige. With The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō (1833–1834), his success was assured. These designs were drawn from Hiroshige's actual travels of the full distance of 490 kilometers (300 mi). They included details of date, location, and anecdotes of his fellow travelers, and were immensely popular. In fact, this series was so popular that he reissued it in three versions, one of which was made jointly with Kunisada. Hiroshige went on to produce more than 2000 different prints of Edo and post stations Tōkaidō, as well as series such as The Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaidō (1834–1842) and his own Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (1852–1858). Of his estimated total of 5000 designs, these landscapes comprised the largest proportion of any genre.
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). Hiroshige pioneered the use of the vertical format in landscape printing in his series Famous Views of the Sixty-odd Provinces. 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.
Hiroshige was a member of the Utagawa school, along with Kunisada and Kuniyoshi. The Utagawa school comprised dozens of artists, and stood at the forefront of 19th century woodblock prints. Particularly noteworthy for their actor and historical prints, members of the Utagawa school were nonetheless well-versed in all of the popular genres.
During Hiroshige’s time, the print industry was booming, and the consumer audience for prints was growing rapidly. Prior to this time, most print series had been issued in small sets, such as ten or twelve designs per series. Increasingly large series were produced to meet demand, and this trend can be seen in Hiroshige’s work, such as The Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaidō and One Hundred Famous Views of Edo.
In terms of style, Hiroshige is especially noted for using unusual vantage points, seasonal allusions, and striking colors. 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.
Hiroshige’s The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō (1833–1834) and One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (1856–1858) greatly influenced French Impressionists such as Monet. Vincent van Gogh copied two of the One Hundred Famous Views of Edo which were among his collection of ukiyo-e prints. Hiroshige's style also influenced the Mir iskusstva, a 20th-century Russian art movement in which Ivan Bilibin was a major artist. Cézanne and Whistler were also amongst those under Hiroshige's influence. Hiroshige was regarded by Louise Gonse, director of the influential Gazette des Beaux-Arts and author of the two volume L'Art Japonais in 1883, as the greatest painter of landscapes of the 19th century.
Bokashi (Japanese: ぼかし) is a technique used in Japanese woodblock printmaking. It achieves a variation in lightness and darkness (value) of a single color or multiple colors by hand applying a gradation of ink to a moistened wooden printing block, rather than inking the block uniformly. This hand-application had to be repeated for each sheet of paper that was printed.
The best-known examples of bokashi are in the 19th-century ukiyo-e works of Hokusai and Hiroshige, in which the fading of Prussian blue dyes in skies and water create an illusion of depth. In later work by Hiroshige, for example the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, most prints originally featured bokashi such as red-to-yellow-to-blue color sunrises.Copies by Vincent van Gogh
Copies by Vincent van Gogh form an important group of paintings executed by Vincent van Gogh between 1887 and early 1890. While at Saint-Paul asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France, where Van Gogh admitted himself, he strived to have subjects during the cold winter months. Seeking to be reinvigorated artistically, Van Gogh did more than 30 copies of works by some of his favorite artists. About twenty-one of the works were copies after, or inspired by, Jean-François Millet. Rather than replicate, Van Gogh sought to translate the subjects and composition through his perspective, color, and technique. Spiritual meaning and emotional comfort were expressed through symbolism and color. His brother Theo van Gogh would call the pieces in the series some of his best work.Eight Views of Ōmi
The Eight Views of Ōmi (in Japanese: 近江八景 or Ōmi hakkei) are traditional scenic views of Ōmi Province which is now Shiga Prefecture in Japan.
They were inspired by the Eight Views of Xiaoxiang in China which were first painted in the 11th century and then brought to Japan as a popular theme in the 14–15th centuries. The theme was then used to describe Ōmi province in poetry by Prince Konoe Masaie and his son, Prince Hisamichi, in the 15–16th centuries. The Eight Views of Ōmi then became a popular subject for artists such as Suzuki Harunobu and Utagawa Hiroshige. The theme continued to develop, being transposed to other locations and settings in a process which the Japanese called mitate.The sights were depicted by Hiroshige in several different series of ukiyo-e pictures, as well as other artists.They are sometimes erroneously called "Eight Views of Lake Biwa", but the latter were defined to include different locations in 1949 by the government of Shiga Prefecture.Goldstone Catena
Goldstone Catena (Goldstone Vallis until March 2013) is a catena on Mercury located at 15.8 S, 31.7 W. It is named after Goldstone Observatory. While it superficially resembles a graben, it is a chain of overlapping secondary craters.Hiroshige (crater)
Hiroshige is a crater on Mercury located at 13 S, 27 W. It is 138 km in diameter and was named after Andō Hiroshige.Hiroshige II
Hiroshige II (二代目 歌川広重, Ni-daime Utagawa Hiroshige, 1826 – 17 September 1869) was a Japanese designer of ukiyo-e art. He inherited the name Hiroshige II following the death in 1858 of his master Hiroshige, whose daughter he married. In 1865 he moved from Edo to Yokohama after dissolving his marriage and began using the name Kisai Risshō (喜斎立祥; alternate pronunciation: Ryūshō). His work so resembles that of his master that scholars have often confused them.Hiroshige Sekō
Hiroshige Seko (世耕 弘成, Sekō Hiroshige, born November 9, 1962) is a Japanese politician of the Liberal Democratic Party, a member of the House of Councillors in the Diet (national legislature). A native of Wakayama Prefecture, he graduated from Waseda University and received a master's degree in corporate communications from Boston University. He was elected to the House of Councillors for the first time in 1998. He was elevated by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to serve as Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) on August 3, 2016.Hiroshige Yanagimoto
Hiroshige Yanagimoto (柳本 啓成, Yanagimoto Hiroshige, born October 15, 1972) is a former Japanese football player. He played for Japan national team.Japonaiserie (Van Gogh)
Japonaiserie (English: Japanesery) was the term the Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh used to express the influence of Japanese art.Before 1854 trade with Japan was confined to a Dutch monopoly and Japanese goods imported into Europe were for the most part confined to porcelain and lacquer ware. The Convention of Kanagawa put an end to the 200-year-old Japanese foreign policy of Seclusion and opened up trade between Japan and the West.
Artists including Manet, Degas and Monet, followed by Van Gogh, began to collect the cheap colour wood-block prints called ukiyo-e prints. For a while Vincent and his brother Theo dealt in these prints, and they eventually amassed hundreds of them, now housed in the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.In a letter to Theo dated about 5 June 1888 Vincent remarks
About staying in the south, even if it’s more expensive—Look, we love Japanese painting, we’ve experienced its influence—all the Impressionists have that in common—[so why not go to Japan], in other words, to what is the equivalent of Japan, the south? So I believe that the future of the new art still lies in the south after all.
A month later he wrote,
All my work is based to some extent on Japanese art...Murasaki (crater)
Murasaki is a crater on Mercury located at 12 S, 31 W. It is 132 km in diameter. It was named after 10th-11th century Japanese novelist Murasaki Shikibu. The name was approved by IAU's Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature in 1976. To its east lies the slightly larger Hiroshige. The bright crater Kuiper overlays the rim of Murasaki.Plum Park in Kameido
Plum Park in Kameido (亀戸梅屋舗, Kameido Umeyashiki) is a woodblock print in the ukiyo-e genre by the Japanese artist Hiroshige. It was published in 1857 as the thirtieth print in the One Hundred Famous Views of Edo series and depicts Prunus mume trees in bloom.The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō
The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō (東海道五十三次, Tōkaidō Gojūsan-tsugi), in the Hōeidō edition (1833–1834), is a series of ukiyo-e woodcut prints created by Utagawa Hiroshige after his first travel along the Tōkaidō in 1832.The Tōkaidō road, linking the shōgun's capital, Edo, to the imperial one, Kyōto, was the main travel and transport artery of old Japan. It is also the most important of the "Five Roads" (Gokaidō)—the five major roads of Japan created or developed during the Edo period to further strengthen the control of the central shogunate administration over the whole country.
Even though the Hōeidō edition is by far the best known, The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō was such a popular subject that it led Hiroshige to create some 30 different series of woodcut prints on it, all very different one from the other by their size (ōban or chuban), their designs or even their number (some series include just a few prints).
The Hōeidō edition of the Tōkaidō is Hiroshige's best known work, and the best sold ever ukiyo-e Japanese prints. Coming just after Hokusai's Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji series, it established this new major theme of ukiyo-e, the landscape print, or fūkei-ga, with a special focus on "famous views" (meisho). These landscape prints took full advantage of the new possibilities offered by the Western representation of perspective, that Japanese artists had by now fully assimilated. Hiroshige's series met with full success, not only in Japan, but later in Western countries.The Sixty-nine Stations of the Kiso Kaidō
The Sixty-nine Stations of the Kiso Kaidō (木曾街道六十九次, Kiso Kaidō Rokujūkyū-tsugi) or Sixty-nine Stations of the Kiso Road, is a series of ukiyo-e works created by Utagawa Hiroshige and Keisai Eisen. There are 71 total prints in the series (one for each of the 69 post stations and Nihonbashi; Nakatsugawa-juku has two prints). The common name for the Kiso Kaidō is "Nakasendō," so this series is sometimes referred to as the Sixty-nine Stations of the Nakasendō. It is a follow up to Hiroshige's The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō and he produced 47 of the prints, with Eisen being responsible for the rest.The Winchester Tapes
"The Winchester Tapes" is an episode from the TV series M*A*S*H. The sixth episode of the sixth season, it originally aired on CBS October 18, 1977, with a repeat on December 27, 1977, and was written by Everett Greenbaum and Jim Fritzell and directed by Burt Metcalfe.
The guest cast is Thomas Carter as a patient and Kimiko Hiroshige as the Korean woman.Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (Hiroshige)
Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (Japanese: 富士三十六景, Hepburn: Fuji Sanjū-Rokkei) is the title of two series of woodblock prints by Japanese ukiyo-e artist Hiroshige, depicting Mount Fuji in differing seasons and weather conditions from a variety of different places and distances. The 1852 series, published by Sanoya Kihei, are in landscape orientation using the chūban format, while the 1858 series are in the portrait ōban format and were published by Tsutaya Kichizō. The same subject had previously been dealt with by Hokusai in two of his own series, Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, produced from c. 1830 to 1832, and One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji.Tōkaidō (road)
The Tōkaidō road (東海道), which roughly means "eastern sea route," was the most important of the Five Routes of the Edo period in Japan, connecting Kyoto to Edo (modern-day Tokyo). Unlike the inland and less heavily travelled Nakasendō, the Tōkaidō travelled along the sea coast of eastern Honshū, hence the route's name.Ukiyo-e
Ukiyo-e is a genre of Japanese art which flourished from the 17th through 19th centuries. Its artists produced woodblock prints and paintings of such subjects as female beauties; kabuki actors and sumo wrestlers; scenes from history and folk tales; travel scenes and landscapes; flora and fauna; and erotica. The term ukiyo-e (浮世絵) translates as "picture[s] of the floating world".
Edo (modern Tokyo) became the seat of government for the military dictatorship in the early 17th century. The merchant class at the bottom of the social order benefited most from the city's rapid economic growth. Many indulged in the entertainments of kabuki theatre, courtesans, and geisha of the pleasure districts. The term ukiyo ("floating world") came to describe this hedonistic lifestyle. Printed or painted ukiyo-e images of this environment emerged in the late 17th century and were popular with the merchant class, who had become wealthy enough to afford to decorate their homes with them.
The earliest success was in the 1670s with Moronobu's paintings and monochromatic prints of beautiful women. Colour in prints came gradually—at first added by hand for special commissions. By the 1740s, artists such as Masanobu used multiple woodblocks to print areas of colour. From the 1760s the success of Harunobu's "brocade prints" led to full-colour production becoming standard, each print made with numerous blocks. Specialists have prized the portraits of beauties and actors by masters such as Kiyonaga, Utamaro, and Sharaku that came in the late 18th century. In the 19th century followed a pair of masters best remembered for their landscapes: the bold formalist Hokusai, whose Great Wave off Kanagawa is one of the best-known works of Japanese art; and the serene, atmospheric Hiroshige, most noted for his series The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō. Following the deaths of these two masters, and against the technological and social modernization that followed the Meiji Restoration of 1868, ukiyo-e production went into steep decline.
Some ukiyo-e artists specialized in making paintings, but most works were prints. Artists rarely carved their own woodblocks for printing; rather, production was divided between the artist, who designed the prints; the carver, who cut the woodblocks; the printer, who inked and pressed the woodblocks onto hand-made paper; and the publisher, who financed, promoted, and distributed the works. As printing was done by hand, printers were able to achieve effects impractical with machines, such as the blending or gradation of colours on the printing block.
Ukiyo-e was central to forming the West's perception of Japanese art in the late 19th century–especially the landscapes of Hokusai and Hiroshige. From the 1870s Japonism became a prominent trend and had a strong influence on the early Impressionists such as Degas, Manet, and Monet, as well as Post-Impressionists such as van Gogh and Art Nouveau artists such as Toulouse-Lautrec. The 20th century saw a revival in Japanese printmaking: the shin-hanga ("new prints") genre capitalized on Western interest in prints of traditional Japanese scenes, and the sōsaku-hanga ("creative prints") movement promoted individualist works designed, carved, and printed by a single artist. Prints since the late 20th century have continued in an individualist vein, often made with techniques imported from the West.Utagawa school
The Utagawa school (歌川派) was a group of Japanese woodblock print artists, founded by Toyoharu. His pupil, Toyokuni I, took over after Toyoharu's death and raised the group to become the most famous and powerful woodblock print school for the remainder of the 19th century.
Hiroshige, Kunisada, Kuniyoshi and Yoshitoshi were Utagawa students. The school became so successful and well known that today more than half of all surviving ukiyo-e prints are from it.
Founder Toyoharu adopted Western-style deep perspective, an innovation in Japanese art. His immediate followers, Utagawa Toyohiro and Utagawa Toyokuni adopted bolder, more sensuous styles than Toyoharu and specialized in different genres — Toyohiro in landscapes and Toyokuni in kabuki actor prints. Later artists in the school specialized in other genres, such as warrior prints and mythic parodies.Yokohama-e
Yokohama-e (literally “Yokohama pictures”) are ukiyo-e Japanese woodblock prints depicting foreigners and scenes of Yokohama. In 1859, the port of Yokohama was opened to foreigners, and ukiyo-e artists, primarily of the Utagawa school, produced more than 800 different woodblock prints in response to a general curiosity about these strangers. The production of Yokohama-e ceased in the 1880s.
The most prolific artists working in this genre were Utagawa Yoshitora, Utagawa Yoshikazu, Utagawa Sadahide, Utagawa Yoshiiku, Utagawa Yoshimori, Utagawa Hiroshige II, Utagawa Hiroshige III, Utagawa Yoshitoyo, and Utagawa Yoshitomi.