One Hundred Famous Views of Edo - In 1856, Hiroshige began designing what was to be his last great series and a masterpiece, "One Hundred Famous Views of Edo." The series contains 118 vertical format woodblocks of classic Hiroshige landscapes. From spring cherry blossoms to summer fireworks, from quiet scenes along the river to lively festival celebrations, Hiroshige captures life in old Edo in dramatic and interesting ways. Hiroshige employed an inventive compositional technique in many of the prints, using large foreground elements to frame a distant view in the background, such as the image of Kinryuzan Temple seen through the doorway of the famous Thunder Gate. Beautifully printed with fine bokashi shading, "One Hundred Famous Views of Edo" retains its popularity today as one of Hiroshige's great masterworks, and includes some of his most memorable images.
Suruga-cho - Terrific view of the busy Suruga-cho in Edo, with manzai performers strolling along the street for New Year's. The two men in the center are dressed as samurai, accompanied by two beauties playing shamisen at left, and a man playing flute and another tapping a drum at right. The large department store Echigoya lines the street, its crest featured prominently on the blue curtains covering the shops. The building is decorated with sacred shimenawa ropes for the holiday. The composition leads the eye down the street to a view of Mt. Fuji in the distance, with a few birds fluttering in the sky above. A great scene from city life in old Edo, nicely colored and shaded. Published by Watanabe.
Woodblock reprints - In the 20th century, artists and publishers collaborated to recreate famous woodblock prints for interested Japanese collectors and Westerners looking for rare designs. New blocks were made, and the prints were painstakingly printed by artisan printers in the same method as the 19th century originals - one block for each color. Woodblock reprints were an opportunity to collect and enjoy a famous design at a small fraction of the price of an original. They still are today.
Artist - Hiroshige (1797 - 1858)
Image Size - 13 1/4" x 8 5/8" + margins as shown
Condition - Excellent overall with beautiful color and fine detail. Large, untrimmed margins, as shown. Please see photos for details.