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UTAGAWA HIROSHIGE II (1826–1869)
UTAGAWA HIROSHIGE II (1826–1869)

Kintai Bridge at Iwakuni in Suo Province

Details
UTAGAWA HIROSHIGE II (1826–1869)
Kintai Bridge at Iwakuni in Suo Province
Woodblock print, from the series Shokoku meisho hyakkei (One Hundred Famous Views in the Various Provinces), signed Hiroshige ga, published by Uoya Eikichi, 1859
Vertical oban: 13 ¾ x 9 ½ in. (35 x 24 cm.)

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Lot Essay

This winter scene of the Bridge of the Brocade Sash, is considered the masterpiece of the set. The solitary figures of the boatman at the top right, poling his raft of timber, and the people on the bridge with its massive stone pilings, are reminiscent of the prints of Hiroshige I, but have a poetic sense of man’s isolation in the forces of nature that is Hiroshige II’s own. For its full effect, the earliest printings-such as the example here-should be examined. An effective use of the wood grain is made, as are touches of mica behind the row of houses in the foreground. A scratch carving technique derived from lacquer decoration renders the details of snow-covered willow trees in foreground and pine trees in distance. The diagonal-striped pattern of two reds as the background of the publisher’s cartouche is only found in this edition.

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