Artist: Ando Utagawa Hiroshige (1787-1858)
Woodblock Prints Title: Meguro Drum Bridge and Sunset Hill (Meguro Taikobashi Yűhinooka), from the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (Meisho Edo hyakkei)
1st Publication: April 1857
Size: Vertical ˘ban; 35 x 23.5 cm (13 3/4 x 9 1/4 in.)
Date of this edition: April 1857
Publisher: Uoya Eikichi
Condition: Near Mint. A very old center horizontal crease flattened and nearly invisible, a couple of acid free paper remnants on the upper back corners, else very fine. Good colors, very good impression and excellent overall condition.
Notes: Original 1st edition by Uoya in 1857. This is one of the extremely rare deluxe edition, with mica in the sky and in river banks. Usually, this technique was reserved for good customer or prestigious people, as the technology was fairly new, expensive and difficult to master.
More about this print: Of the two attractions mentioned in the title, the Drum Bridge was the more celebrated site in the Meguro area. Arched bridges were unusual enough in Edo, but even more curious was a stone bridge, which offered few advantages in a city prone to earthquakes. Rounded forms and stone structures were more common in China than in Japan, suggesting a Chinese prototype for this bridge, although it is said to have been designed in the 1740's by a wandering priest inspired by a similar one in Kyushu, Japan.
Hiroshige evokes a greater sense of isolation, even loneliness, in this snow scene by offering an oblique view.
Pictures: Pictures are taken outdoor, in the shade, to reflect true colors, without any enhancements of any kind. The last picture is taken indoor, with a light behind the print, to reveal the exact paper grain, holes if any, or other possible flaws.