The World Of Hiroshige Utagawa

Spring is a wonderful time for a weekend in Shizuoka, exploring the world of Hiroshige, Hokusai’s most talented pupil

  • The World Of Hiroshige Utagawa
  • The World Of Hiroshige Utagawa
  • The World Of Hiroshige Utagawa
  • The World Of Hiroshige Utagawa
  • The World Of Hiroshige Utagawa

The Shizuoka prefecture is very easy to access from Tokyo, and so is the Tōkaidō Hiroshige Museum of Art. All you have to do is take the Tōkaidō Railway Line from Shizuoka Station, ride for about 20 minutes and get off at Yui Station. In the nearby Yui-Honjin park sits the museum, which was opened in 1994 and named after Hiroshige Utagawa, one of the most representative and respected artists in the domain of ukiyo-e (literally “pictures of the floating world”), a genre of Japanese art that consists of woodcut prints and paintings, and one of Japan’s symbols.
Hiroshige was one of the most brilliant pupils of another illustrious Japanese painter, Hokusai, who achieved the zenith of his career pretty late in life, when he was seventy, with the series of prints Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji
Born in 1797, Hiroshige first became an apprentice of Toyohiro Utagawa and by the age of sixteen he was allowed to sign his works, which he did under his mononym “Hiroshige”. The Utagawa school throve on portraits of female beauties and kabuki performers, but Hiroshige expanded and gave a personal touch to life portraiture.
His Ten Famous Places in the Eastern Capital, which were perhaps too heavily influenced by Hokusai’s Thirty-six Views, were not so well received. Nonetheless, 35-year-old Hiroshige’s depictions of Mount Fuji represent a departure from 72-year-old Hokusai’s point of view. Hiroshige focused on new places, new landmarks and new perspectives and in a couple of years he spawned the Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō - depicting the stations along the Tōkaidō, one of the five major roads of Japan in the Edo period - which were released to great acclaim, thanks to the sacred status of Mount Fuji and the development of tourism in the places represented in the series.
In addition to this famous series, the museum’s permanent collection includes approximately 1,400 pieces, including one of Hiroshige’s late works, the One Hundred Famous Views of Edo series.
he Tōkaidō Hiroshige Museum of Art endeavours to provide visitors with fresh viewpoints on ukiyo-e by rotating the collection every month, holding conferences and art talks, and allowing visitors to experiment with printing.

Author : The Slowear Journal


Floating images  | Hiroshige Utagawa  | Hokusai  | ukiyo-e  |

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