Art on Tuesday: Moon Pine

This ukiyo-e was painted by Utagawa Hiroshige 歌川広重 (1797-1858). It is part of his “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo” showing the so-called moon pine  上野山内月のまつ.  It is named moon pine because people liked to watch the moon through the loop of the tree from different angles. Moon watching was popular in these days and maybe it is still today.

Another ukiyo-e of the same series is showing the pine tree from a different perspective: here you can see it standing in front of the Kiyomizu Hall beside the Shinobazu Pond in Ueno/Tokyo and can be viewed even today. The picture is called Kiyomizu-do and Shinobazu Pond at Ueno.

Art on Tuesday: Naruto Whirlpools

This very famous ukiyo-e made by Utagawa Hiroshige 歌川 広重 (1797-1858) is called Naruto Whirlpools in the Awa Province (1855). Naruto is located at the Shikoku coast. The Naruto whirlpools 鳴門の渦潮 are a natural phenomenon, which can be watched even today. Utagawa Hiroshige painted another very similar ukiyo-e with wave motifs shown on Japan Kaleidoskop on August 2013.  It is a View of Mount Fuji at Suruga Beach on the Pacific coast of Honshû.

Art on Tuesday: Shin-Ohashi Bridge at Atake

Utagawa Hiroshige 歌川 広重 (1797-1858) painted a Sudden Shower over the Shin-Ohashi Bridge at Atake which is an interesting woodblock print. It is part of his series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo made in 1857.

There is not much happening, but everyone surely knows how a sudden rain shower in summer feels like. See the pitch dark cloud at the sky. The people on the bridge are hiding from the rain under their umbrellas and trying to get as quickly as possible over the bridge. In the background you see a man on a raft-like boat.

The same bridge was also portrayed by Koho Shoda (1871-1946) as a night scene. A totally different atmosphere. See it also in the post of Japan Kaleidoskop of June 2015.

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

monkey2

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.