Hiroshige & Eisen. the Sixty-Nine Stations Along the Kisokaido. 40th Ed. (Hardcover)

Hiroshige & Eisen. the Sixty-Nine Stations Along the Kisokaido. 40th Ed. By Rhiannon Paget Cover Image

Hiroshige & Eisen. the Sixty-Nine Stations Along the Kisokaido. 40th Ed. (Hardcover)

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The Kisokaidō route through Japan was ordained in the early 1600s by the country's then-ruler Tokugawa Ieyasu, who decreed that staging posts be installed along the length of the arduous passage between Edo (present-day Tokyo) and Kyoto. Inns, shops, and restaurants were established to provide sustenance and lodging to weary travelers. In 1835, renowned woodblock print artist Keisai Eisen was commissioned to create a series of works to chart the Kisokaidō journey. After producing 24 prints, Eisen was replaced by Utagawa Hiroshige, who completed the series of 70 prints in 1838.

Both Eisen and Hiroshige were master print practitioners. In The Sixty-Nine Stations along the Kisokaidō, we find the artists' distinct styles as much as their shared expertise. From the busy starting post of Nihonbashi to the castle town of Iwamurata, Eisen opts for a more muted palette but excels in figuration, particularly of glamorous women, and relishes snapshots of activity along the route, from shoeing a horse to winnowing rice. Hiroshige demonstrates his mastery of landscape with grandiose and evocative scenes, whether it's the peaceful banks of the Ota River, the forbidding Wada Pass, or a moonlit ascent between Yawata and Mochizuki.

Taken as a whole, The Sixty-Nine Stations collection represents not only a masterpiece of woodblock practice, including bold compositions and an experimental use of color, but also a charming tapestry of 19th-century Japan, long before the specter of industrialization. This TASCHEN volume is sourced from one of the finest surviving first editions and revives the series in our compact anniversary edition.

Product Details ISBN: 9783836594875
ISBN-10: 3836594870
Publisher: Taschen
Publication Date: February 7th, 2024
Pages: 512
Language: English