Ichiryusai HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)



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A vertical oban diptych, Fujigawa no setchu, “The Fuji River in Winter.” Hiroshige records in his diaries that he commenced on a journey westwards from Edo on the fourth month Tempo 12 (1842). He walked the Koshukaido to Kofu in Kai Province and then on to Shimo-suwa. On the route to Kofu, he mentions visiting the Saruhashi, Monkey Bridge, and consequently must have crossed the upper reaches of the Fuji River to reach Kofu. On his return Hiroshige designed two kakemono-e, one of the Monkey Bridge for the publisher Tsutaya, and the design here of Fujigawa for the publisher Kikakudo (Sanoya Kihei). Both are considered masterpieces. The magisterial format perfectly conveys the wild landscape with a diminutive figure crossing the bridge above the gorge with boatmen on the river. Published c. 1842-44. There are many copies of these two kakemono-e. Genuine impressions of this design should have a small vertical block defect bottom right where the mountain meets the river, just to the left of the publisher’s seal. Extremely rare.


Fine impression. The slopes of the mountain top left are printed without outline and appear different on different impressions, also because the block for the sky was changed. Fine colour (although the colour scheme is almost monochromatic relieved by only the blue of the river and touches of brown and green). Very good condition: Full size with ample room for joining of the two sheets. These designs often come heavily browned as they were hung as substitute paintings. Signed Hiroshige hitsu.


Status: Sold


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