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HIroshige: Nature and the City

HIroshige: Nature and the City

Ludion Publishers

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Hiroshige: Nature and the City is a comprehensive, in-depth look at the remarkable career of renowned Japanese print artist Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858). It is based on the extensive Alan Medaugh collection, one of the largest private collections of Hiroshige's work outside of Japan. With 500 entries, the catalogue focuses on his portrayal of both city and countryside landscapes, along with fan prints and prints featuring birds and flowers. Organized chronologically by subject, it showcases Hiroshige's depictions of urban scenes in his hometown of Edo (now Tokyo), his famous series of Japanese highways, and his serene nature prints. The catalogue also includes transcriptions and translations of the poetry often incorporated into Hiroshige's works, as well as careful attention to the differences between variant editions of his prints. A valuable resource for scholars, dealers, and collectors alike.

  • The most extensive survey of Hiroshige's oeuvre in English to date
  • For the first time all textual content in Hiroshige's prints is transcribed and translated
  • Provides essential comparative material for every scholar, dealer, and collector

Product Details

  • Product Type: Monograph, Hardcover, with dust jacket
  • 448 pages, with 500 illustrations
  • Publication Date:
  • Shipping Dimensions: 11.9 × 9.7 × 1.9 inches
    (30.2 × 24.6 × 4.8 cm)
  • Shipping Weight: 6.7 lb (107.2 oz; 3039 g)
  • SKU010010839 | 9789493039988

About HIroshige: Nature and the City Contributors

Rhiannon Paget is the curator of Asian art at the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida. Paget studied at Tokyo University of the Arts and received her doctorate in Japanese Art History from the University of Sydney, Australia. She has published research on Japanese woodblock prints, textiles, board games, and nihonga.

Andreas Marks is the Mary Griggs Burke Curator of Japanese and Korean art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. He was director and chief curator at Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture, in California, from 2008 until 2013. He has a PhD from Leiden University in the Netherlands and a master's degree in East Asian Art History from the University of Bonn, Germany. He has curated exhibitions in a variety of media from pre-modern to contemporary art and visual culture at 35 museums including the Birmingham Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, Honolulu Museum of Art, San Antonio Museum of Art, and the San Diego Museum of Art. In 2014 he received an award from the International Ukiyo-e Society in Japan for his research.

John T. Carpenter is the Mary Griggs Burke Curator of Japanese Art at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. From 1999 to 2011, he taught the history of Japanese art at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and served as head of the London office of the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures. He has published widely on Japanese art, especially in the areas of calligraphy, painting, and woodblock prints, and has helped organize numerous exhibitions at the Museum, including Designing Nature (2012–13); Brush Writing in the Arts of Japan (2013–14); Celebrating the Arts of Japan (2015–17), The Poetry of Nature (2018–2019), and The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated (2019).

Shiho Sasaki is conservator of Asian paintings and paper at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. Since 2008, she has been responsible for preserving and conserving the two-dimensional art collection at the museum. Previously, she conducted coloring and material research at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, D.C. She received her M.A. in paper conservation from the Royal College of Art, London.


About the Artist, Utagawa Hiroshige

Utagawa Hiroshige (born Andō Tokutarō), a renowned Japanese artist, is celebrated for his captivating woodblock prints that depict the beauty of nature and the daily life of Japan during the Edo period. Born in 1797 in Edo, now known as Tokyo, Hiroshige's artistic talent bloomed from a young age.

Hiroshige's journey as an artist began when he joined the Utagawa school, a prestigious institution that trained artists in the ukiyo-e style. Ukiyo-e, meaning "pictures of the floating world," was a popular art form that captured scenes of everyday life, landscapes, and people. Hiroshige's dedication and skill soon caught the attention of his teachers, setting him on a path to becoming a master of the craft.

What truly set Hiroshige apart was his unique approach to capturing landscapes. Unlike many artists of his time, he focused on scenes that were often overlooked – the charm of ordinary places and the changing seasons. His series "The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido" catapulted him to fame. This series showcased the various stops along a famous highway, each print reflecting the distinct beauty and character of that location.

Hiroshige's prints are characterized by their vibrant colors, intricate details, and a sense of tranquility. His ability to convey the mood of a moment was extraordinary. In his series "One Hundred Famous Views of Edo," he masterfully depicted the city's landscapes – from bustling streets to serene waterfronts – capturing the essence of each scene.

Nature was a recurring theme in Hiroshige's work. His prints often showcased the changing seasons, from cherry blossoms in spring to snow-covered landscapes in winter. He had an uncanny ability to infuse his art with emotion, allowing viewers to feel the gentle rustle of leaves or the calmness of a moonlit night.

Hiroshige's prints not only captured nature's beauty but also the everyday lives of the people. Scenes of farmers at work, shoppers in markets, and travelers on their journeys provided a glimpse into Japanese society during the Edo period. Through these prints, Hiroshige transported viewers to a world both familiar and distant.

His influence extended beyond Japan's borders, inspiring European artists like Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet. His art highlighted the power of observation, encouraging others to find beauty in the ordinary.

Tragically, Utagawa Hiroshige's life was cut short in 1858, but his legacy lives on through his timeless works. His dedication to capturing the world around him in intricate detail, along with his ability to evoke emotions through his prints, solidified his place as one of Japan's most beloved artists. Today, his prints are treasured artifacts, reminding us of the enduring beauty found in the simple moments of life.

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