100 Views of Edo # 105 Deluxe Edition by Ando Hiroshige
Artist: Ando Utagawa Hiroshige (1787-1858)
Woodblock Prints Title: 100 Views of Edo #105: Oumayagashi
1st Publication: December 1857
Size: 13-1/4 x 8-5/8 + Margins as shown
Date of this edition: December 1857, 1st Edition
Publisher: Uoya Eikichi
Condition: A few pin holes in the left margin, else very fine. Excellent colors, impression and overall condition.
Notes: Original 1st edition by Uoya in 1857.
This is one of the extremely rare deluxe edition, with mica in the river bank, as you can see on the additional picture section. 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: It is a murky winter night as the Oumayagashi ferry approaches its landing on the west bank of the Sumida River. The two figures in the bow of the ferry are yotaka, "night hawks"—the lowest class of prostitutes in Edo.
This image is the closest Hiroshige ever attained to depicting the vicissitudes of the life of Edo's lower class, and he did so in a manner calculated not to offend. The faces, for example, are shown as amusing caricatures of the thick lips and pug noses for which yotaka were known. In fact, many such women were disfigured by disease, which led them to hide under the sort of thick make-up we see here. The yotaka suffered a brutal life, and their painful existence was long associated in Japanese art and literature with the cold of winter.
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.
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