Utagawa Hiroshige’s “Hakone, the view of Ashinoko Lake” landscape ukiyo-e print

“Hakone, the view of Ashinoko Lake” from Fifty-Three Stages on the Tokaido   It is a masterpiece Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858)‘s artworks painted by a combination of various colors and unusual shapes of Mt Hakone. The ancient Japanese people called Hakone Pass as “The most precipitous in the country, the abyssal ravine”.   Hiroshige drew the overflowing mountain with the overwhelming sense of volume, which express the difficulty to cross the pass.   On the lower right, the Daimyo’s procession goes down the narrow and steep slope in a row. With colors like a mosaic, the extremely deformed Mt. Hakone sticks out to Lake Ashinoko with a steep gradient.   We can Read more about Utagawa Hiroshige’s “Hakone, the view of Ashinoko Lake” landscape ukiyo-e print[…]

Learn about ukiyo-e woodblock! Definition, history, famous artists and prints

What is a “ukiyo-e”? An introduction to Japanese woodblock printing Ukiyo-e  (pronounciation:uː.ˈki.oʊ.ˌeɪ, uːˌkiːjəʊˈeɪ. 浮世絵 in kanji) is essential field in Japanese art . The art never developed without the common people of the Edo Period.   Sponsored Links   It is said that the beginning of the ukiyo-e, the Japanese art of woodblock printings, is the pictures of Kyoto people’s living in late 16th century.     After that, the themes of ukiyoe expanded to popular kabuki actors, beautiful women and landscapes. “ukiyo” (浮世) means contemporary with hedonisitic and fleeting idea, so ukiyo-e translated as picture of floating world.               Sponsored Links             Read more about Learn about ukiyo-e woodblock! Definition, history, famous artists and prints[…]

Ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai:biography, facts, and artworks

Katsushika Hokusai who created the famous great wave painting Katsushika Hokusai must be the most famous Japanese woodblock printing (ukiyo-e) artist around the world. How to pronounce “Katsushika Hokusai”   His art works of images including The Great Off Kanagawa (The Great Wave) and other prints of “Thirty-Six Views of Mount. Fuji” influenced Western artists Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Degas and Henri Rivière.           His printmaking works still have inspired the artists and the creators. In 1960, celebrating his 200th birth anniversary, he was honored as the cultural master in the world.(learn about Japanese painting by the early modern)           In 1760, Katsushika Hokusai was born in Honjo, Edo. Read more about Ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai:biography, facts, and artworks[…]

Light rain at Shono art woodblock print by Utagawa Hiroshige

Shono, the evening squall from “Fifty-three stages on Tokaido” series   The print is one of the most popular artworks in “Fifty-three Stages on Tokaido” by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) as well as Kambara, the snow in the night.    The themes of Kambara, the snow in night are snow, silence, and winter. On the other hand, the world of Shono, the evening squall is rain, uproar, and summer.   The silhouette of the bamboo trees on the background has a gradation and lean to left-side. That shows the strength of rain and wind.   Hiroshige drew the lines of the shower from the upper right of the screen askew. And the steep slope crosses the lines at Read more about Light rain at Shono art woodblock print by Utagawa Hiroshige[…]

Mystery of famous Hiroshige’s snowy Kambara woodblock ukiyo-e painting

Did Hiroshige really draw the landscape of Kambara? Kambara, the snow in the night from “Fifty-three stages on the Tokaido” series   Among numberless other landscape ukiyo-e printings, the artworks of Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) receive the highest evaluation inside and outside the country.    One of the most famous artworks is Kambara, the snow in the night. Kambara, the snow in the night is a print of “Fifty-three Stages on the Tokaido” series.     Hiroshige drew most of the print with just white and black. Just three people whose heads and shoulders are covered with snow have other colors. And it is so quiet and the sound in the picture is their footsteps on Read more about Mystery of famous Hiroshige’s snowy Kambara woodblock ukiyo-e painting[…]

Plum garden ukiyo-e art woodblock print by Utagawa Hiroshige

Plum Estate, Kameido from “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo” woodblock prints     As if the blooming plum flowers gave out the fragrance for us. It is one of the ukiyo-e series of “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo” by Utagawa (Ando) Hiroshige (1797-1858).    The Plum Estate in Kameido was the vacation house of the wealthy merchant Iseya Hikoemon. About 300 plum trees bloom every February. But it is already impossible to see the spectacular scene. Because the flood in 1910 made all trees dead and the estate was closed.   Among them, there was especially famous plum tree in the garden. It was “Ryugabai” (龍臥梅). Tokugawa Mitsukuni (1628-1701), the second feudal lord of Read more about Plum garden ukiyo-e art woodblock print by Utagawa Hiroshige[…]

Utagawa Hiroshige’s whirlpool artwork ukiyo-e woodblock print

Awa, Naruto Whirlpool from “Famous Views of the Sixty-odd Provinces”     The swirling currents beat the angular rocks and splash water about. As if the whirlpool swallows up those who look the print.   It is one of the representative works of Utagawa (Ando) Hiroshige (1797-1858) who was the master‐hand at the landscape paintings in the ukiyo-e world.    Hiroshige worked on the work of “Famous Views of the Sixty-odd Provinces” in his later life from 1853 to 1856. Unlike “Fifty-Three Stages on the Tokaido”, he used a vertically long screen called Tate-e (立て絵). “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo” is also the type of Tate-e.   He used the vertically long rectangle effectively. We feel the depth of Read more about Utagawa Hiroshige’s whirlpool artwork ukiyo-e woodblock print[…]

Japanese ink painting:”Landscapes of Autumn and Winter” by Sesshu

“Landscapes of Autumn and Winter”     Sesshu(1420‐1506) was a Zen priest in the late period of the Muromachi Period. And he established Japanese ink paintings(a kind of sumi-e painting, an art expressing only with the light and shade of black ink).   Sesshu learned the ink painting techniques from Shubun(?-?). But hoping for a larger scale picture, he traveled to China. Then he mastered the ink art of the South Sung style and Zhe School, and created his own style.   Like these two pieces of work, he painted a sharp line and a composition with stability. It was a really new style in Japanese painting.         The Landscape of Autumn has Read more about Japanese ink painting:”Landscapes of Autumn and Winter” by Sesshu[…]

The back of Fuji from the Minobu River by Katsushika Hokusai

46.The back of Fuji from the Minobu       The road that the travelers and horses are walking run down to the Kuonji temple, the head temple of Nichiren sect. Some of them are likely to be on their way to the temple.   They are surrounded by rugged rocky mountains, and see the overlapping waves of the river on the left-side. The droplets are drawn with the white small points and give a refreshing feeling for the screen of the ukiyo-e.   The whole impression of the woodblock print art is tense by the dark brown of Mt. Fuji, the deep blue of the mountain next to it, and the green of the trees tighten. It Read more about The back of Fuji from the Minobu River by Katsushika Hokusai[…]

Katsushika Hokusai’s art, ‘Kajikazawa in Kai Province’

45.Kajikazawa in Kai Province       At first glance, it seems that the raging waves of the sea are striking on the shore. But Kai Province, the current place of Yamanashi Prefecture, is inland.    Fuji River in the picture, the two rivers(Kamanashi River and Fuefuki River) join together shortly before this point, and a large quantity of water current stream.   The fishermen standing on the rock is absolutely still, whereas water beats against rocks and bubbles express energy. It’s really contrastive opposite ukiyo-e print.   Both the ridgeline of Mt. Fuji, and the rock and fishing line, create triangles and become a geometric pattern.   It receives a high reputation abroad, but originally Read more about Katsushika Hokusai’s art, ‘Kajikazawa in Kai Province’[…]