Artist: Ando Utagawa Hiroshige (1787-1858)
Woodblock Print Title:
Temple Gardens, Nippori (Nippori jiin no rinsen), from the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (Meisho Edo hyakkei)
1st Publication: February 1857
Size: Vertical ˘ban; 35.9 x 24.6 cm (14 1/8 x 9 11/16 in.)
Date of this edition: February 1857
Publisher: Uoya Eikichi
Condition: Trimmed to the margins on the right and left side of the print, affecting the seals, soiling, mild fading, a small repaired area in the middle of the print.
Notes: Deluxe edition with Mica in the garden bank area. 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: Description
In the mid-eighteenth century three Buddhist temples in Yanaka, an area on the outskirts of Edo, entered into a friendly competition of creating unusual gardens to lure visitors from downtown Edo every spring. They became collectively known as the "Flower Temples" or the "Temple Gardens" of Nippori. Hiroshige has depicted one temple, Shūshōin, that was famous for its curious arrangement of artificial mountains and fantastically shaped rocks and trees.
What identifies this scene as that site? Against the right margin, above Hiroshige's signature, is a topiary boat, a well-known attraction of Shūshōin. This telltale clue would have immediately identified the place to an Edo audience.
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.