Monday, 21 February 2011

Winter Landscape: Kinryusan Temple at Asakusa by Ando Hiroshige

Hiroshige was an artist of snow and rain 
This, for me, is one of the "all time great" winter landscapes of an urban area under snow. It was created by the famous Japanese ukiyo-e artist Ando Hiroshige (1797-1858) as part of the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo which was produced between 1856-8.  This one is Image #99.

Kinryusan Temple at Asakusa by Ando Hiroshige (Japanese, 1797–1858)
From the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (JP2519)
Oban format, woodblock print; ink and color on paper;
H. 14 1/16 in. (35.7 cm), W. 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm)
In Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. (October 2006)

Here, a large lantern and a temple gate are so closely viewed that motifs are cropped, while the use of one-point perspective, a Western technique, to depict the pathway to the main hall of Kinryusan temple contrasts the powerful details of the foreground with the inexorability of the temple hall in the distance.

Source: Ando Hiroshige: Kinryusan Temple at Asakusa: From the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (JP2519) | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Note also that:
  • all the people are turned away from the artist; many are further obscured by umbrellas
  • the leaden sky is captured perfectly - but the colour is also 'reflected' at the base of the painting
  • the red vertical of the doorway is echoed by the vertical banner and the tiered tower in the rear of the image
  • the terrific contrast between the red and the green of the buildings and the white and blue/grey of the natural elements - the snow and the sky - making this a very "look at me" image.
You can read more about the landscapes of Hiroshige and the One Hundred Views of Edo in my information site Hiroshige - Resources for Art Lovers

You can see more snow scenes by Hiroshige on John Stewart's excellent website about The Woodblock Prints of Ando Hiroshige

1 comment: said...

Hi, i´m an artist from Germany, and i really like your posts. thank you for sharing!
Best regards from berlin


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