One Hundred Famous Views of Edo
Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, actually composed of 118 splendid woodblock landscape and genre scenes of mid-nineteenth century Tokyo, is one of the greatest achievements of Japanese art. The series contains many of Hiroshige's best-loved and most extraordinary prints. Like Venice and Florence in the 14th and 15th centuries, or Paris in the age of the Impressionists, the city of Edo, with its superb landmarks and its festive display of elegant urban life, exerts a special and compelling fascination. Hiroshige revealed the panorama of his city's activities with subtle and vivid visual anecdotes: fireworks seen from the river, fashionable geishas on parade, the kabuki district at night, intimate moments in the gardens and teahouses. It is a tour de force of artistic vision and printmaking craftsmanship. This edition has been reproduced from an exceptionally fine, first-edition set in the Brooklyn Museum of Art to insure maximum fidelity to the original prints. Henry Smith ex-plains the world of Edo in its twilight before the Meiji Restoration and the beginnings of a modern urban society. Each plate is accompanied by a commentary that discusses its artistic and cultural interest in detail. For anyone interested in Japan, the One Hundred Famous Views of Edo is perhaps the finest guide and one of the greatest legacies imaginable.
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