Original Hiroshige (1797 - 1858) Japanese Woodblock Print
New Year's Eve Foxfires at the Changing Tree, Oji
Series; One Hundred Famous Views of Edo
One Hundred Famous Views of Edo - In 1856, Hiroshige began designing what was to be his last great series and a masterpiece, "One Hundred Famous Views of Edo." The series contains 118 vertical format woodblocks of classic Hiroshige landscapes. From spring cherry blossoms to summer fireworks, from quiet scenes along the river to lively festival celebrations, Hiroshige captures life in old Edo in dramatic and interesting ways. Hiroshige employed an inventive compositional technique in many of the prints, using large foreground elements to frame a distant view in the background, such as the image of Kinryuzan Temple seen through the doorway of the famous Thunder Gate. Beautifully printed with fine bokashi shading, "One Hundred Famous Views of Edo" retains its popularity today as one of Hiroshige's great masterworks, and includes some of his most memorable images.
New Year's Eve Foxfires at the Changing Tree, Oji - One of the most evocative Japanese woodblock prints of all time and a Hiroshige masterwork, this incredible image depicts the legend of foxes gathering around a tree near Oji Inari Shrine on New Year's Eve. There, they would change into clothes before paying a visit to the shrine, where they would receive directions for the coming year from the Shinto deity Inari. In Japanese folklore, foxes were considered magical creatures with special abilities, including shape-shifting, and were often mischievous pranksters. Here, the foxes meet at the base of the tree, breathing out magical foxfires, the red orange flames flickering around them. Dozens of foxes can be seen approaching in the distance, the fields dotted with orange flames beneath a sky filled with twinkling stars. A fantastic Hiroshige design, considered one of the best of the series. This is a Meiji era printing.
Artist - Hiroshige (1797 - 1858)
Image Size - 13 1/8" x 8 5/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent detail as shown. Horizontal centerfold. Small hole, repaired. Wrinkling throughout, slight toning and soiling, stain at edge. Please see photos for details.