Hiroshige: The Master of Nature
Hiroshige (1797-1858), Japanese painter and printmaker, is known especially for his landscape prints. The last great figure of the popular ukiyo-e school of printmaking, he transmuted everyday landscapes into intimate, lyrical scenes. With Hokusai, Hiroshige dominated the popular art of Japan in the first half of the nineteenth century. He captured, in a poetic, gentle way that all could understand, the ordinary person's experience of the Japanese landscape, as well as the varied moods of memorable places at different times. His total output was immense, some 5400 prints in all. Ukiyo-e publishing was not a cultural institution subsidized by public funds, but rather a commercial business. During his lifetime, Hiroshige was well known and commercially successful. But the Japanese society did not take too much notice of him. His real reputation started with his discovery in Europe. This beautiful book, published on the occasion of a major exhibition in Rome, examines various aspects of Hiroshige's oeuvre and reproduces in color some two hundred of his prints. The comprehensive text examines his life and achievement as well as his masterwork, and explains the particular qualities that make Hiroshige such an essential artist.