Art on Tuesday: Cherry Blossom Time

A spring scene with cherry blossom trees in full bloom painted by Utagawa Hiroshige I (歌川 広重, 1797–1858). This ukiyo-e gives a good impression of the crowded streets in the pleasure quarters at daytime. Two groups of geishas are entering the street from the right and the left, given shelter from the sunlight by huge umbrellas. Here they are visiting the Yoshiwara district in Edo. This picture is named Cherry Blossom Time at Naka-no-chô in the Yoshiwara 吉原仲の町桜時 as a part of the series Famous places in Edo (source: Museum of Fine Arts in Boston).

Art on Tuesday: Monkey Bridge


This is a woodblock print of the Monkey Bridge 猿槁 in the Kai Province 甲斐國 made by Utagawa Hiroshige 歌川 広重 (1797-1858) in 1841/42. The old bridge is located in the Yamanashi Prefecture and was rebuilt in 1984. You find more interesting pictures of the Sarubashi Bridge here.

Art on Tuesday: Mount Fuji seen across a Ray


Ando Hiroshige’s 安藤 広重 (1797-1858) Mount Fuji seen across a Ray made in 1856. The picture is part of the series Famous Views of the 60 Provinces 六十余州名所図会 showing a Pine Grove at Mio in Suruga Province, located in the centre of Shizuoka Prefecture. Mount Fuji has no snow on top, so it must be in summertime. The lake is painted in beautiful blue shades with tiny sailing ships moving from right to left. There is a little breeze as you can see small waves and the sails are blown. The deep blue color is used as a frame: see the shore of the lake and the sky at the top of the picture. The curves of the clouds surrounding Mount Fuji and the shape of the headland are corresponding in shape. Contrasting  colors of red and green plus the rich blue create a powerful picture.

Art on Tuesday: View of Kônodai and the Tone River


Utagawa Hiroshige I  歌川 広重 (1797–1858) painted The View of Kônodai and the Tone River 鴻の台とね川風景 as a part of his series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo in 1856. Utagawa created an illusion of distance in this scenic picture of a long riverbed. At the right side of the background you find Mount Fuji.  He added also some  lovely details: look at the three people at the cliff line, which gives you a hint of the cliff’s height. This is without doubt a beautiful view.

Art on Tuesday: On the Road


This ukiyo e was made by Utagawa Hiroshige 歌川 広重 (1797-1858) around 1836.
It is named Tsumago, of the series The Sixty-nine Stations of the Kiso kaidô 木曾街道六十九次, number 42. It shows how traveling was like in the old days along the Kiso river valley from Nihonbashi to Kyoto. Metaphorically speaking people are coming and going, each has to carry a different burden and a place to go.

Art on Tuesday: Hanabi Fireworks


Japanese fireworks are nowadays very common in summertime. In the beginning of the Edo period (1600- 1868) they were celebrated by the firework manufacturers Tamaya and Kagiya, who both competed with each other.

You can see the beautiful hanabi 花火, which means flower-fire everywhere in Japan. The summer is hot and humid and if you are sleepless you can enjoy the beautiful spectacle. Hanabi is a symbol of transience as much as the cherry blossom of the spring.


Toyohara Kunichika 豊原 国周 (1835-1900): Fireworks at the Sumida-gawa (left)

Utagawa Hiroshige 歌川広重 (1797-1858): Fireworks at Ryôgoku, 1845 (Edo, today’s Tôkyô) (right top)

Utagawa Hiroshige 歌川広重 (1797-1858): Fireworks at Ryôgoku Bridge, 1854 (Edo, today’s Tôkyô) (right bottom)

Art on Tuesday: Winter Holidays


This is a winter scene by Utagawa Hiroshige painted in 1857 from his series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo. Atagoshita and Yabu Lane 愛宕下藪小路. Happy Holidays. I wish you a beautiful holiday season.

Art on Tuesday: Utagawa Hiroshige


15_-_Noge_and_YokohamaView of Mount Fuji at Noge/Yokohama. Utagawa Hiroshige 歌川 広重 (1797- 1858). Very lovely ukiyo-e print from the series Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji.

Art on Tuesday: Utagawa Hiroshige

Hiroshige_Mt_fuji_2View of Mount Fuji at Suruga Beach. Utagawa Hiroshige 歌川 広重 (1797- 1858). One of the most famous ukiyo-e print of Japan giving a cool summer fresh feeling (1859 posthumously published). From the series Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji.

Art on Tuesday: Utagawa Hiroshige


The Moon over a Waterfall. This is an artwork of Utagawa Hiroshige 歌川 広重 (1797-1858). He is a master of coloured woodblock-printing of Japan. Famous for many prints and well-known worldwide.