Hiroshige (1797 - 1858 )

Born in Edo as Tokutaro Ando, Hiroshige grew up in a minor samurai family. His father belonged to the firefighting force assigned to Edo Castle. It is here that Hiroshige was given his first exposure to art: legend has it that a fellow fireman tutored him in the Kano school of painting, though Hiroshige’s first official teacher was Rinsai. Though Hiroshige tried to join Utagawa Toyokuni’s studio, he was turned away. In 1811, young Hiroshige entered an apprenticeship with the celebrated Utagawa Toyohiro. After only a year, he was bestowed with the artist name Hiroshige. He soon gave up his role in the fire department to focus entirely on painting and print design. During this time he studied painting, intrigued by the Shijo school. Hiroshige’s artistic genius went largely unnoticed until 1832.


In Hiroshige's groundbreaking series of woodblock prints, The 53 Stations of the Tokaido (1832-1833), he captured the journey along the Tokaido road, the highway connecting Edo to Kyoto, the imperial capital. With the Tokugawa Shogunate relaxing centuries of age-old restrictions on travel, urban populations embraced travel art and Hiroshige became one of the most prominent and successful ukiyo-e artists. He also produced kacho-e (bird-and-flower pictures) to enormous success. In 1858, at the age of 61, he passed away as a result of the Edo cholera epidemic.


Hiroshige’s prints continue to convey the beauty of Japan and provide insight into the everyday life of its citizens during the Edo period. The appeal of his tender, lyrical landscapes was not restricted to the Japanese audience. Hiroshige’s work had a profound influence on the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists of Europe: Toulouse-Lautrec was fascinated with Hiroshige’s daring diagonal compositions and inventive use of perspective, while Van Gogh literally copied two of Hiroshige's prints from the famous series, 100 Famous Views of Edo in oil paint.

Japanese Woodblock Prints (1800 - 1868)

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Tenno Festival at Tsushima, Owari Province

Hiroshige

Tenno Festival at Tsushima, Owari Province

JPR-207854

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Armor-hanging Pine at Hakkeizaka

Hiroshige

Armor-hanging Pine at Hakkeizaka

JPR-207853

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Kuwana

Hiroshige

Kuwana

JPR5040

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Act XI, Scene I: Night Attack Advances

Hiroshige

Act XI, Scene I: Night Attack Advances

JPR-111552

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Shinano: Moon Reflections on Sarashina Rice Paddy-fields and Mt. Kyodai

Hiroshige

Shinano: Moon Reflections on Sarashina Rice Paddy-fields and Mt. Kyodai

JPR-111548

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Kozuke: Mt. Haruna in Snow

Hiroshige

Kozuke: Mt. Haruna in Snow

JPR-111546

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Kai: Monkey Bridge

Hiroshige

Kai: Monkey Bridge

JPR-111542

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Mimasaka: Yamabushi Valley

Hiroshige

Mimasaka: Yamabushi Valley

JPR-111540

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Sanyabori at Night at Matsuchiyama

Hiroshige

Sanyabori at Night at Matsuchiyama

JP-111362

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Riverbank at Sukiya

Hiroshige

Riverbank at Sukiya

JPR-110282

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Mountain River on Kiso Road

Hiroshige

Mountain River on Kiso Road

JP-111928

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Sakai Ferry

Hiroshige

Sakai Ferry

JP-111214

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Oiso

Hiroshige

Oiso

JP-110996

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Twilight Moon at Ryogoku Bridge

Hiroshige

Twilight Moon at Ryogoku Bridge

JP-110132

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Fine Evening on the Coast in Tsushima Province

Hiroshige

Fine Evening on the Coast in Tsushima Province

JP-107342

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Plum Garden at Kameido

Hiroshige

Plum Garden at Kameido

JP-101023

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Hosokute

Hiroshige

Hosokute

JPR-112032

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Shimosa Province: Choshi Beach

Hiroshige

Shimosa Province: Choshi Beach

JPR-109480

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Eight Views of Omi

Hiroshige

Eight Views of Omi

JP-200066

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View of Azuma Bridge and Kinryuzan

Hiroshige

View of Azuma Bridge and Kinryuzan

JP-200065

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Fireworks at Ryogoku

Hiroshige

Fireworks at Ryogoku

JP-111186

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Kasumigaseki

Hiroshige

Kasumigaseki

JP-207863

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Aronia and Bullfinch

Hiroshige

Aronia and Bullfinch

JP-207878

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Complete Untitled Series of Famous Places in Various Provinces

Hiroshige

Complete Untitled Series of Famous Places in Various Provinces

JP-207873

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