I love Oriental art, and this book contains some of the most exquisite to be found. Though some may group Eastern arts together as a style, there really is a vast difference between the creations of various countries. Japanese art is very unlike Chinese. This collection contains the works of the well-known Japanese artist Utagawa Hiroshige, also known as Andō Hiroshige. Remember, in Japanese, the family name comes first. Andō was his family name, but he became a pupil of the woodblock artist Toyohiro of the Hiroshige school, and adopted that as his name. See more at Wikipedia about his life. Hiroshige lived from 1797 to 1858, and according to Wikipedia, is considered the last great artist of the ukiyo-e tradition which means"pictures of the floating world" and are woodblock prints.
This style of art catered to the emerging merchant class and their growing wealth during the Edo period (1603-1867). Edo is now modern Tokyo. Much of this art depicted the hedonistic lifestyle of courtesans and geishas (prostitution), and kabuki theatre merged with the natural beauty of the environment. While the ukiyo-e tradition usually focuses on "beautiful women, popular actors, and other scenes of urban pleasure districts," Hiroshige is more known for his landscape and nature prints. Again refer to Wikipedia for more information on this vast topic.
Hiroshige created works in series, of which this collection features examples of many. As always, I will include a wide range of images to represent the contents of this set. You may view more in the Japanese, Samurai, Geisha Index.
#005: The Famous Teahouse at Mariko, c.1831-4 (Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaidō Road)
#025: Otai (The Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaidō)
#52: Suō Province, Iwakuni, Kintai Bridge, 1856 (Famous Views of the Sixty-odd Provinces)
#83: Horikiri Iris Garden, 1857 (One Hundred Famous Views of Edo)
#102: Misaka Pass in Kai Province, 1858 (Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji)
#117: Moon and Flowers, 1854
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