"Evening Shower at Ataka and the Great Bridge, from "One-hundred Views of Famous Places in Edo" series

Utagawa Hiroshige • Print, 1857, 33.8×22.1 cm
About the artwork
Art form: Print
Subject and objects: Landscape, Genre scene
Style of art: Ukiyo-e
Technique: Woodcut
Materials: Paper
Date of creation: 1857
Size: 33.8×22.1 cm
Artwork in selections: 41 selections

Description of the artwork «"Evening Shower at Ataka and the Great Bridge, from "One-hundred Views of Famous Places in Edo" series»

"Sudden shower over Ohashi bridge at Atake" one of two prints of Hiroshige, renowned for Van Gogh. Or rather, his copies of the woodcuts of Japanese masters (1, 2). As in the case of "Flowering plum garden, Kameido""Bridge under rain" painted by van Gogh is not a copy of the sheet authorship Hiroshige, but rather its author's interpretation.

This print is in the most famous cycle Hiroshige "One hundred famous views of Edo" (number 52). The series was created over three years, from 1856 to 1858 years, but it is not arranged by the date of printing sheets, and the seasons, depicted on them. "A sudden shower" refers to the summer block, respectively, the events in the engraving takes place in the summer.

Bridge Ohashi (in Japanese – "large, great") has connected the banks of the Sumida river flowing through Edo. A wooden structure was built in 1694 and served for nearly two centuries, until it was replaced in 1885. Surprisingly, it survived the earthquake of 1855 and the ensuing fires. These disasters destroyed many buildings which were then rebuilt. Some of them depicted on the sheets of the series Hiroshige "one Hundred famous views of Edo", and, according to one version, his goal was to attract the attention of the citizens to the process of recovery.

Sudden summer showers have become common the subject image in the prints of Ukiyo-e. Such as in this woodcut, Hiroshige called "white" - perhaps due to the fact that his veil is so thick that it seems a solid, impenetrable, almost tangible. To convey this image, the wizard uses a difficult to cut on a wooden Board technique of many thin intersecting lines.

Hiroshige applies here another difficult to perform the woodcut technique bokashi, which means the gradient, i.e., smooth transition of colors (at the bottom of the page). This feature, by the way, a little less than completely ignoring van Gogh in their versions of works (which, however, it is not surprising, since she barely fits in his signature style separate, clear strokes).

Heavy cloud, spewing streams of water, hurrying rather to hide from the rain, people floating in asylum boat – all this gives the image a sense of movement. Although the technique of fine Ukiyo-e is far from realism and sometimes more like animated images, the image of a summer shower created by Hiroshige, is very expressive. And so believable that even seem to hear his noise. Master in General are particularly well able to convey different States of nature, whereby he earned the title "artist rain, snowand fog".

Author: Natalia Azarenka