Plum Estate, Kameido (Kameido Umeyashiki), No. 30 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo
Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando)
Hiroshige brings us face to face with the celebrated "Sleeping Dragon Plum" of Kameido. This tree, the most famous in Edo, was known for the purity of its double blossoms, which, according to one Edo guidebook, were "so white when full in bloom as to drive off the darkness." We are so close that we can almost smell the tree's powerful fragrance, reputed to have lured the shogun Yoshimune as he passed nearby in the early eighteenth century.
11th month of 1857
Edo Period, Ansei Era
Sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 1/4 in. (36 x 23.5 cm)
Image: 13 3/8 x 8 7/8 in. (34 x 22.6 cm) (show scale)
No publisher's seal visible, probably lost when left edge was trimmed.
This item is not on view
Gift of Anna Ferris
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Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando) (Japanese, 1797-1858). Plum Estate, Kameido (Kameido Umeyashiki), No. 30 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 11th 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, 30.1478.30 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 30.1478.30_PS1.jpg)
overall, 30.1478.30_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
View of the "Sleeping Dragon Plum" (Garyubai), the most famous tree in Edo. The unusual pattern of the tree's growth is seen by the low branches entering the soil and re-emerging at a distance to create new trunks, thus, the tree was constantly rejuvenated and had spread over an area of some 50 feet square. The image of the "sleeping dragon" came from the way the branches looped across the ground. It was surrounded by a low fence to keep people from pressing too near.
This print was one of two in the seires (together with pl. 58) that attracted Vincent van Gogh and he painted a copy of this print, in oils, in 1877. There are striking color contrasts between the copy and the original, whereas van Gogh's colors show "passion" and youthfulness, the original with its shading of the gnarled trunks gives a sense of greater age. The "sleeping dragon plum" survived in Kameido until 1910, when it was killed by a great flood.
View of the Kameido plum orchard as seen through the branches of a plum tree. The artist has depicted the scene with a reddish pink sky and green ground.
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