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Artist: Utagawa Hiroshige (歌川広重)

Alternate names:
Ichiryūsai (go - 一立斎)
Ichiyūsai (go - 一幽斎)
Jūbei (nickname - 十兵衛)
Jūemon (nickname - 十右衛門)
Ryūsai (go - 立斎)
Tōkaidō Utashige (go - 東海道歌重)
Tokubei (nickname - 徳兵衛)
Tokutarō (nickname - 徳太郎)
Andō Hiroshige(安藤広重)

Lifetime: 1797 - 1858

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Biography:

"Art surname Utagawa; childhood name Tokutarō; common name Jūemon, then Tokubei; go Ichiyūsai (with meaning 'bravery', c. 1818-30), Ichiyūsai (with meaning 'hazy', c. 1830-31), Ichiryūsai (c. 1832-42), Ryūsai (c. 1842-58), Utashige (c. late Tempō era (1830-44) ). (These dates suggested by Suzuki Jūzō... [in 1984]. Son of a Bakufu fire officer, Andō Gen'emon. Lived first in the fireman's residence by the moat at Yayosu, then Oga-chō, next Tokiwa-chō and finally Nakabashi Kadō Shindō. A pupil of Utagawa Toyohiro, but also studied the Kanō style with Okajima Rinsai, nanga with Ōoka Umpō, and the Shijō style from an unknown source. First dated work an illustrated kyōka anthology, Kyōka murasaki no maki, published in 1818. During the Bunsei era (1818-30) produced prints of beauties, actors, and warriors in the standard Utagawa mould, as well as surimono and illustrations for printed novels. c. [sic] 1831 designed a series, Totō meisho, entirely in shades of blue, and the following year took a trip down the Tōkaidō Highway as a part of an official envoy from the Shōgun to the imperial court in Kyoto. Impressions from this journey were worked up into his great print series Tōkaidō gojūsan-tsugi ('Fifty-three stations of the Tōkaidō Highway'), published by Hoeidō in 1832-33, the phenomenal success of which decided the course of his future career. The series Kisokaidō rokujūkyū-tsugi ('Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaidō Highway') with Eisen followed in the later 1830s, along with numerous series of vies of Edo, reworkings of the Tōkaidō series and prints of birds and flowers. His later career, in terms of prints, was taken up with series of upright landscapes such as Meido Edo hyakkei ('One Hundred Famous Views of Edo', 1856-58) and triptychs, often incorporating beauties with landscapes."

Quoted from: Ukiyo-e Painting in the British Museum by Timothy Clark, p. 182.

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Among the very first Japanese prints to enter the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art were 19 examples by Eizan. These were in an album of 24 prints which include 2 by Kunisada and 3 by Kunimaru. They were a gift of Mary L. Cassilly in 1894.

A second album of 88 prints was also donated at the time. It was prints from 'The Hundred Poets Compared' series including works by Hiroshige, Kunisada and Kuniyoshi.

Source: 'Early Collectors of Japanese Prints and the Metropolitan Museum of Art' by Julia Meech-Pekarik, Metropolitan Museum Journal, vol. 17, 1982, pp. 93-118.

Hiroshige was known to have designed more than 20 sets of prints based on the theme of the Tōkaidō.