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Hiroshige, Shaping the Image of Japan

"Hiroshige Shaping the Image of Japan" is a comprehensive overview of Hiroshige's work as a woodblock print artist. This publication coincides with the 150th anniversary of the death of Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858). Following a general introduction sketching the cultural and economic environment of the artist, the development of his oeuvre and the history of his appreciation in Japan and the West, a chronological presentation of 140 prints from public and private collections, all illustrated in color, forms the main body of the book.Biographical data are sparse and only very few details of Hiroshige's life help explain the nature of his output. By carefully piecing together the information which can be gleaned from the works themselves and combining it with the current knowledge on print production methods, the author attempts to present a picture of Hiroshige as an artist cum craftsman who efficiently produced for his publishers, creating in the process an image of Japan which endures until this day.
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Table of Contents

Themes of the introduction: Hiroshige: the early years Japan's travel hype: the culture of movement Hiroshige's breakthrough: the development of the landscape genre and his first creative surge Hiroshige's cultural milieu: poets, publishers and colleagues A creative pause: the 1840s Hiroshige's final years: glory days. Hiroshige's techniques of design The appreciation of Hiroshige in Japan and the West

About the Author

Christiaan Uhlenbeck has been a Japanese print dealer since 1982 and has curated exhibitions on Ukiyo-e, Shin-hanga and Japanese photography since the 1990s. His main interest is the commercial environment of Japanese printmaking, about which he initiated a conference in 2001. He has recently turned to the investigation of methodology in the study of Japanese prints.


HIROSHIGE: SHAPING THE IMAGE OF JAPAN goes beyond most artistic coverages of Hiroshige's works, offering both a general introduction and a survey of the cultural and economic climate during which Hiroshige honed his composition techniques and developed a world-wide following. Lovely, delicate color prints pack an excellent survey recommended for any collection seeking a basic introduction James A. Cox Editor-in-Chief Midwest Book Review

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