12/12/2012

Utagawa Hiroshige

Utagawa Hiroshige Snow Falling on a Town  

Utagawa Hiroshige Travellers on Horseback in the Snow

Utagawa Hiroshige  Mount Yuga Bizen Province

Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) was one of the last Japanese Ukiyo-e artistsand one of the greatest. 

Ukiyo-e is usually translated as "floating world" in English, referring to a conception of a world of impermanence and fleeting beauty.

How beautiful these scenes are, with their whites and pale greys and isolated areas of rich color! As I look at them I imagine I can hear the silence and feel the peace that comes after a heavy snowfall. 

While Hiroshige was producing his woodblock prints, the print industry was booming, and there was a large market for his work. Despite his enormous popularity, he was never financially secure. He was prolific partly as a result of being paid poorly per series of prints.
Just before his death, Hiroshige left a poem:

"I leave my brush in the East
And set forth on my journey.
I shall see the famous places in the Western Land."
-Utagawa Hiroshige

The month of December will be dedicated to the theme of "Winter". Please email your suggestion (not your own work please) with a few words to describe why you like it. Be sure to include the title, medium, size and year.

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