Collections: Asian Art: Ayase River and Kanegafuchi, No. 63 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

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Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Hiroshige's 118 woodblock landscape and genre scenes of mid-nineteenth-century Tokyo, is one of the greatest achievements of Japanese art.

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    Ayase River and Kanegafuchi, No. 63 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

    Here we reach the farthest point north in the progression along the Sumida River that began in number 55. The view is from the west bank, looking across to the northeast at the point where the Ayase River flows into the Sumida. This isolated site, called Kanegafuchi, was known for the planting of silk trees, a kind of mimosa, along the bank. Hiroshige has framed the view with one of the trees in full bloom. The silk like filaments that give the tree its name are expressed in light pink lines accented with black. Beyond is a boatman whose bold garment echoes the pattern of the blossoms.

    • Artist: Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando), Japanese, 1797-1858
    • Medium: Woodblock print
    • Place Made: Japan
    • Dates: 7th month of 1857
    • Period: Edo Period, Ansei Era
    • Dimensions: Sheet: 14 1/4 x 9 5/16 in. (36.2 x 23.7 cm) Image: 13 3/8 x 8 3/4 in. (33.9 x 22.2 cm)  (show scale)
    • Markings: Publisher: Shitaya Uo Ei
    • Signature: Hiroshige-ga
    • Collections:Asian Art
    • Museum Location: This item is not on view
    • Accession Number: 30.1478.63
    • Credit Line: Gift of Anna Ferris
    • Rights Statement: No known copyright restrictions
    • Caption: Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando) (Japanese, 1797-1858). Ayase River and Kanegafuchi, No. 63 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 7th month of 1857. Woodblock print, Sheet: 14 1/4 x 9 5/16 in. (36.2 x 23.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Anna Ferris, 30.1478.63
    • Image: overall, 30.1478.63_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2005
    • Catalogue Description: This view looks at the point where the Ayase River flows into the Sumida; due to its curve and convergence with the Ayase, the water here was deeper and the flow more rapid than elsewhere on the Sumida. The story is told of a temple bell which fell into the river during a flood, sinking to the bottom and giving the name Kanegafuchi, "bell depths" for the stretch of the river. This location was also known for its silk trees, a kind of mimosa, growing along the bank. This scene shows one of the trees in full bloom with its silk like pink flowers accented in black. The boatman below is dressed in a bold patterned garment and a heron flies above the reeds. In 1887 the Kanegafuchi Spinning Company was constructed on the south bank of the Ayase River (the area to the far right), a joint venture of five Tokyo cotton-thread dealers, known as "kanebo." In time it became Japan's largest cotton-spinning firm and has since diversified into cosmetics.
    • Record Completeness: Best (86%)
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