Original Hiroshige II (1826 - 1869) Japanese Woodblock Print
A Picture of Prosperity: America, 1861
Yokohama-e - Yokohama-e are prints depicting foreigners in Yokohama after Japan was opened to trade with the West the 1850s. Previously, Japan had been closed to international trade with only a few strict exceptions, leading to curiosity among the Japanese about the new foreign arrivals and their strange clothing and customs. Many Yokohama-e designs featured people from the "Five Nations," the five countries that signed trade treaties with Japan in 1858: America, England, the Netherlands, Russia, and France. Others were fanciful depictions of foreign cities, often based on Western illustrations rather than direct observation. These prints proved popular, with hundreds of Yokohama-e published between 1859 and about 1880. These wonderful images provide a great look at this historic time period, using the traditional art form of Japanese woodblock prints to record a new subject.
Comments - Incredible triptych depicting an imaginative view of America featuring a large plaza bordered with multi-storied, ornate stone buildings. Hiroshige II based his design of an American city on an engraving of a Danish castle portrayed in "The London Illustrated News." Men with shaggy beards and women wearing full hoop skirts and frilled bonnets stroll across the square, while others pass beneath an arched entrance into the large palace-like structure in the center, which features many towers and ornately curved gables. In the distance at right, a palm tree rises above the foliage, with pointed mountains beyond. A fantastic, fanciful interpretation of America with wonderful detail.
Artist - Hiroshige II (1826 - 1869)
Image Size - 13 3/4" x 27 3/4" top margin as shown
Condition - This print with good detail as shown. Three separate panels. Losses and thinning at edges, a few holes, repaired. Slight soiling and creasing, a few stains, slight rubbing at edges. Please see photos for details.