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View of Shiba Coast, No. 108 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Utagawa Hiroshige

Asian Art

As one of the very first prints produced in the series, this image of the Shiba coast along Edo Bay provides early evidence of the distinctive type of composition found later in the series, in which a cut-off section of an enlarged foreground element is set against a distant landscape. We can see the artist working toward a clear division of the foreground and background elements into different spaces. However, the space of the large A-frame channel marker in the foreground is still read as continuous with the background, particularly because of the second marker in the distance. As a result, the boats on the right seem strangely dwarfed in size. The presence of the seal of the carver, Hori-Sen, in the lower left corner confirms the image's early date. After only three prints, the carver's seal was excluded from the series.

MEDIUM Woodblock print
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES 2nd 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 No publisher's seal visible-probably lost when left margin was trimmed. Date seal and censor seal at upper margin.
    SIGNATURE Hiroshige-ga
    ACCESSION NUMBER 30.1478.108
    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 one of the earliest in this series at Shibaura, the Shiba coast. At right is the edge of Hama Palace, a shogunal villa that occupied sixty-one acres of reclaimed land extending into Edo Bay. The villa became the Hama Detached Palace of the imperial household after the Meiji Restoration and in 1937 was turned over to the city of Tokyo, which now operates it as Hama Detached Palace Imperial Gift Park. At left are the gray forms of the Odaiba (see prints 81 and 83 of the series). The faces of the gulls in the foreground are particularly appealing, appearing almost human. Here Hiroshige renders them in their winter colors; they are known as "black-headed gulls" in their summer plumage. This is one of three prints in the series that bear the seal of the carver "Hori-sen," see prints 28 and 83 for the others.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Utagawa Hiroshige (Japanese, 1797–1858). View of Shiba Coast, No. 108 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 2nd 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, 30.1478.108 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 30.1478.108_PS20.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 30.1478.108_PS20.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2023
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