Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Japanese Prints

Here are some images of Hiroshige's One Hundred Views of Edo. These are the type of images I've seen a million times but never knew anything about. Well, I finally got to learning.

Working in the mid-nineteenth century, Hiroshige created these beautiful prints to capture daily life in the city where he resided. The prints, of which there are actually 118, are divided by season: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall.

These here are the beginning of each series, and are rich with emblematic images of Edo during its different seasons. For example, in the Summer print (the third one and my favorite of these four), the fish in the bottom right corner is a kind of tuna which fishermen competed to catch to mark the start of summer.

I love the bold, contrasting colors, the visual depth and the strong lines (truer of the Summer prints). They're in the Brooklyn Museum's collection, but because they're so delicate, can only be put on view periodically. They can, however, be viewed in full online.