Friday, April 20, 2012


The Sea off Satta (36 Views of Mount Fuji - #23)
circa 1858
Woodblock print
13 1/4 x 8 5/8 in.
private collection

Utagawa Hiroshige (1797 - 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. He transmuted everyday landscapes into intimate, lyrical scenes that made him even more successful than his contemporary, Hokusai.

Hiroshige was born in Edo (now Tokyo) and at first, like his father, was a fire warden. The prints of Hokusai are said to have first kindled in him the desire to become an artist. With Hokusai, Hiroshige dominated the popular art of Japan in the first half of the 19th century. His work was not as bold or innovative as that of the older master, but he captured, in a poetic, gentle way that all could understand, the ordinary person's experience of the Japanese landscape as well as the varied moods of memorable places at different times. His total output was immense, some 5400 prints in all.

Hiroshige’s woodblock prints greatly influenced French Impressionists such as Monet, Vincent Van Gogh. He died of cholera on October 12, 1858, in Edo.

Ukiyo-e is a genre of Japanese woodblock prints and paintings produced between the 17th and the 20th centuries, featuring motifs of landscapes, tales from history, the theater, and pleasure quarters. It is the main artistic genre of woodblock printing in Japan.