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Five Pines, Onagi Canal, No. 97 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Utagawa Hiroshige

Asian Art

The large pine tree in the foreground, its overhanging branch carefully supported by three posts, is another one of several famous pines depicted in this series. The name Five Pines originated in the planting of five separate trees at intervals along the Onagi Canal. By this date, four had died, leaving only this one. It was a huge old tree, growing out over the water from within the walls of an estate of the daimyo, or military lord, of Ayabe.

MEDIUM Woodblock print
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES 7th month of 1856
    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 Publisher: Shitaya Uo Ei. Date and censor seal at top margin.
    SIGNATURE Hiroshige-ga
    ACCESSION NUMBER 30.1478.97
    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 The Onagi Canal in Gohonmatsu was in fact absolutely straight, but the artist has provided a curve in it for a more appealing composition. Originally there were five pine trees planted along the Onagi Canal, but four had died, leaving only this one, supported by three posts. In Hiroshige's time this was a very large old tree, growing out over the water within the walls of the Kuki estate, belonging to the daimyo of Ayabe. The tree finally fell victim to pollution, killed by smoke and dust from the Suzuki Cement factory that replaced the Kuki estate. The tree's girth was reported at thirteen feet. In the center a man is dragging his towel in the water. This same detail in a similar type of boat appeared in "View of Sunset Over Ryogoku Bridge from Ouyagashi Ferry" in Hokusai's famous "Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji" series in the early 1830's.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Utagawa Hiroshige (Japanese, 1797–1858). Five Pines, Onagi Canal, No. 97 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 7th month of 1856. Woodblock print, Sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 1/4 in. (36 x 23.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Anna Ferris, 30.1478.97 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 30.1478.97_PS20.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 30.1478.97_PS20.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2023
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