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Shinagawa from Fifty-three Famous Places (Gojûsan tsugi meishozue)

by Utagawa (Andô) Hiroshige

Abstract

Woodblock print. 13¾" x 9". Paper was issued in the Tokugawa Period (1615-1868) in standard sizes, most prints being in the oban format of 15 x10. The smaller size of this print thus indicates cutting. Condition good with some slight damage and staining. Professor Mandancy’s original list identifies this work correctly as second print in 1855 set, though her letter listed it again mistakenly as part of the earlier set. Old time connoisseurs of ukiyo-e looked mostly at the lines, but today, there is more consideration of the printing of the colors. Studies of the prints of Harunobu by Jack Hillier (Suzuki Harunobu, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1970, pp. 28-31) suggest that this Ukiyo-e artist offered a first state (best rubbed and colored) to a select clientele and then made subsequent larger, offerings (less carefully rubbed and colored) for more casual buyers. Some regard only the first offering as Art, seeing the later ones as closer to reproduction for commercial purposes. Colors have faded in both Hakone and Shinagawa, as is apparent in the pink rather than red tone of the vertical title bar. However, Hakone shows much more careful rubbing than Shinagawa. An example is the blue bar in the sea above the roofline in the middle of the print of Shinagawa. Such a blue bar is common in Ukiyo-e and is called a “number one†(ichimonji) because the character for “1†is a single, horizontal stroke. An ichimonji is made by painting a broad band of color onto the pre-moistened block and then swiping across it to remove some color and so create a tonal variation. Streaks in the blue bar in Shinagawa indicate that this “wipe†was quick and simple. This is also true for the blue at the top of Shinagawa, or the colors of the distant mountains, wall, or other areas. By contrast, the grey color of the large mountain that dominates the left half of the composition of Hakone is much more carefully done. It fades out much more gradually. The grain of the wooden block has also been used to create cliffs and crags in the mountain. Similarly, the rubber used the rough texture of the wood itself to give the dotted look of gritty rock. This effect is particularly nicely done in the area by the shore, where it produces a sandy texture that contrasts to the wet-looking blue water.

Note

Materials may be used for educational, non-commercial purposes only. Acknowledgement to be given to the ASIANetwork-Luce Asian Art in the Undergraduate Curriculum Project and to the college from whose collection the work comes. The individual college retains copyright to the work.

Administrative Notes

Materials may be used for educational, non-commercial purposes only. Acknowledgement to be given to the ASIANetwork-Luce Asian Art in the Undergraduate Curriculum Project and to the college from whose collection the work comes. The individual college retains copyright to the work.

Copyright
Copyright restrictions apply.
Publisher
Union College
PID
coccc:24235
Extent
588 w x 849 h, 200 ppi