Hiroshige II, 36 Views of the Eastern Capital - The Shoreline at Takanawa

Utagawa Hiroshige II (1826 -1869) 36 Views of the Eastern Capital: The Shoreline at Takanawa, 1862. Oban.

This is from one of Hiroshige II’s best series, The Thirty-Six Views of the Eastern Capital from 1862. Hiroshige II was in his mid thirties when he produced it and had just started to call himself Hiroshige (rather than Shigenobu) on his prints. In each print of the series, the series title appears in the rectangular cartouche in the top right and the title of the individual print is in the fan shaped cartouche next to it.

This print shows the shoreline at Takanawa, now a suburb of Tokyo and home to Sony. In the 1860’s it was a rural area as the print clearly shows. As with all of Hiroshige II’s work this is very much in the manner of his father-in-law and teacher, Hiroshige. Various series (including this one) are highly prized, although following his divorce in 1865, Hiroshige II died in poverty four years later.

This is a striking print of an ox on the shoreline. Taking its compositional cue from Hiroshige’s late 1858 series 100 Views of Edo, (which Hiroshige II helped to complete following Hiroshige’s death that year) the striking foreground device of the ox with its apparently random cropping to the right, dominates the print. Behind it are both traditional and western sailing vessels - note the full rigged clipper on the horizon - making this yet another portrait of Japan in transition.

A fine print in excellent condition, full size with publishing details to the margin, unfaded colour and early impression. Slight visible centre fold.

Signed Hiroshige ga, published by Ai-To.

10.5” x 15.5”