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アダチ版画研究所

Ukiyo-e Utagawa Hiroshige "Nihonbashi bridge in snow"

Ukiyo-e Utagawa Hiroshige "Nihonbashi bridge in snow"

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This “Celebrated Places in the Eastern Capital” series Kawaguchi Shozo bearing both the title and the sub-title was published toward the end of the Tenpo era (1830-44).

Consisting of about fifteen designs as far as known in existence, it includes fine pieces, among which this “Ninonbahi Bridge in Snow” is outstanding. It is in the normal composition with the bridge viewed obliquely from the north bank, and with the Ikkoku-bashi Bridge and the Edo Castle in sight beyond, but differs in that the bridge is brought to an elevated level showing the piers supporting it.

Underneath the bridge are boats rowing on Nihonbashi Canal, which serve to some extent to enhance realistic effect and expression of depth. It is likely that the artist allotted ample space to water, in consideration of contrast between snow-scape and blue water.

Gofun (lime white) powder is scattered to represent falling snow. While the print is realistic as an entirelt, it is illogical that Mt. Fuji in the distance is in sight amidst snowfall.

Perhaps Hiroshige dared to introduce it into the scene because the Edo Casle and Mt. Fuji are indispensable in a picture of Nihonbashi viewed from this angle.

The exstence of Fuji constitutes an effective accent in the design and does not appear unnatural, due probably to the distinctive mood and style of the artist.

Screen dimensions 25.0×39.0cm
Frame size 40.0×55.5cm
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