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.
Yamada Shoin's Selected Famous Views of Edo - Around 1965, the Tokyo publisher Yamada Shoin released a reprint series of sixty selected designs from Hiroshige's "One Hundred Famous Views of Edo." This beautifully printed series includes iconic images such as pedestrians caught in a thunderstorm in "Sudden Shower over Shin-Ohashi Bridge and Atake," an eagle soaring high above the plains in "Fukagawa Susaki and Jumantsubo," and the beautiful blossoms of "Horikiri Iris Garden" and "Plum Estate, Kameido."
Drawing on the traditions and methods of the Edo era, the skilled artisans of Yamada Shoin carefully carved and printed new blocks to beautifully recreate Hiroshige's most memorable designs from the series. Printed to exacting standards with clear, vibrant color and fine bokashi shading, these lovely reprints faithfully capture the beauty of Hiroshige's originals.
While reprints of Hiroshige's "Tokaido" series were done by many different publishers, it's much harder to find reprints of his "One Hundred Famous Views of Edo," especially nicely done ones such as these. This is a great opportunity to put together a few high quality "Hundred Edo" reprints if you are looking for this series.
Hatsune Riding Grounds, Bakuro-cho - Attractive spring view of an open square in downtown Edo that originally served as a training ground for the shogun's men to practice horse riding. Having outlived this purpose, dyers used the space between the willow trees to hang lengths of cloth for drying. A beautiful print with a pleasing curvilinear composition.
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. Nice overall.