Collections: Asian Art: Moon-Viewing Point, No. 82 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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    30.1478.82_PS1.jpg 30.1478.82.jpg

    Moon-Viewing Point, No. 82 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

    Scholars have identified this as a scene in one of the many brothels or inns in the settlement of Shinagawa. Through the open window appears the harvest moon rising serenely in the autumn sky. In contrast to the fullness and perfection of the view outside, the scene within is one of incompletion and indirection. Beneath a lantern on the tatami mat lie the leftovers of a meal. At the very margins of the scene are two half-hidden figures. To the right is a geisha; the tip of a lute-like samisen and its box hint that she is about to leave. To the left, as indicated by the elaborate hairstyle, is a courtesan. The garment slipping onto the tatami suggests she is preparing for bed.

    • Artist: Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando), Japanese, 1797-1858
    • Medium: Woodblock print
    • Place Made: Japan
    • Dates: 8th month of 1857
    • Period: Edo Period, Ansei Era
    • Dimensions: Sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 1/4 in. (36 x 23.5 cm) Image: 13 3/8 x 8 3/4 in. (34 x 22.2 cm)  (show scale)
    • Markings: No publisher's seal visible, probably lost when left margin was trimmed. Date seal and censor seal at top margin.
    • Signature: Hiroshige-ga
    • Collections:Asian Art
    • Museum Location: This item is not on view
    • Accession Number: 30.1478.82
    • Credit Line: Gift of Anna Ferris
    • Rights Statement: No known copyright restrictions
    • Caption: Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando) (Japanese, 1797-1858). Moon-Viewing Point, No. 82 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 8th month of 1857. Woodblock print, Sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 1/4 in. (36 x 23.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Anna Ferris, 30.1478.82
    • Image: overall, 30.1478.82_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
    • Catalogue Description: In contrast to the serenity of the autumn moonlit night depicted in the distance, the scene inside shows the leftovers of an evening of entertainment. Uneaten sashimi lies in an imari-ware dish on a lacquer tray; at left is a sake cup in a washing bowl, a half opened fan, a tobacco pouch, pipe case, a smoking set with a charcoal lighter, and two used towels. In the foreground of the veranda are a pair of chopsticks, two sake flasks, and a low lacquer table with a bowl. At the right one can see the tip of a shamisen and its box, indicating that a geisha is packing up to leave. At left, discerned only from the shadow of her elaborate hair style, is a courtesan who might be preparing for bed. The customer is not visible; he might have stepped out for a bath. The actual location is a matter of dispute, but it appears to be in one of the many brothels or inns in the Shinagawa settlement. There is a Hiroshige illustration in a "kyokai" verse anthology (Kyoka Edo Meisho Zue, 1856), published one year earlier, which depicts the same scene as this print, except that the banquet is still in progress and it includes the guest, two geisha, a male entertainer, and the courtesan.
    • Record Completeness: Best (88%)
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    Recent Comments
    02:01 12/10/2011
    it is end of day
    the moon glows, the birds head home
    the boats sway in their own random dance
    and you see
    life slows to its lame walk

    travelers stop at Shinagawa
    and they have needs;
    our duties done
    you pack your samisen
    and you will go
    and I shall change into clothes
    best for some rest and sleep
    and we shall meet again
    another day
    as our days flow
    like dispassionate rivers

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