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Sudden Shower Over Shin-Ohashi Bridge and Atake (Ohashi Atake no Yudachi), No. 58 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Utagawa Hiroshige

Asian Art

One can almost hear the crack of thunder as the roiling black clouds burst into sheets of heavy rain, scattering the huddled shapes on the bridge below. On the blue-gray expanse of the Sumida River, a solitary boatman poles his log raft downstream past the area known as Atake, impervious to the storm. This is a yūdachi—an "evening descent" of the thunder god—a summer rain in which the heavens suddenly darken late in the day, releasing torrents of rain in large drops that then quickly clear. The undisputed masterpiece of the series, this print was accorded the honor of a copy in oil by Vincent van Gogh, now in Amsterdam.

MEDIUM Woodblock print
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES 9th month of 1857
    PERIOD Edo Period, Ansei Era
    DIMENSIONS Sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 1/8 in. (36.1 x 23.1 cm) Image: 13 1/4 x 8 3/4 in. (33.7 x 22.2 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS Publisher: Shitaya Uo Ei
    SIGNATURE Hiroshige-ga
    ACCESSION NUMBER 30.1478.58
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Anna Ferris
    PROVENANCE Prior to 1930, provenance not yet documented; by 1930, acquired by Anna Ferris of Summit, NJ; 1930, gift of Anna Ferris to the Brooklyn Museum.
    Provenance FAQ
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION This print is considered the masterpiece of this series and compares in its appeal with another of Hiroshige's most famous landscapes, Shono, in "The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido," which also depicts escape from a sudden rain. This print, along with the view of the Kameido plum tree (print 30 from the series), were copied in oil by Vincent van Gogh. The rolling black clouds, the torrents of rain -- depicted through an overlay of black and gray lines at different angles -- and the blue-gray of the Sumida River show the intensity of the summer storm. There are six figures on the bridge, attempting to escape from the rain, under hats, mats, and umbrellas and a lone boatman on the river. Looking beyond the Shin-Ohashi, or New Great Bridge, is the Atake of the title, an informal place name for the area shown on the far bank, named after a huge bakufu ship which was moored in front of the shogunal boathouses here from the 1630's until it was dismantled in 1682. An earlier version of this print (showing an additional two log raft along the far shore), is in the Brooklyn Museum collection.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Utagawa Hiroshige (Japanese, 1797–1858). Sudden Shower Over Shin-Ohashi Bridge and Atake (Ohashi Atake no Yudachi), No. 58 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 9th month of 1857. Woodblock print, Sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 1/8 in. (36.1 x 23.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Anna Ferris, 30.1478.58 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 30.1478.58_PS20.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 30.1478.58_PS20.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2023
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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