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Famous Places in the Sixty-odd Provinces

Hiroshige

Fukuda Art Museum

Fukuda Art Museum
Kyoto, Japan

Showing a rosy morning glow tinting the lingering mist, this scene resonates with the beauty of flowering cherries in full bloom on the mountainsides and along the river. Utagawa Hiroshige was a masterful landscape artist best known for his Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō. In this other series, he depicted scenic spots throughout Japan. Representing old Yamashiro Province, which included the location of present-day Kyoto, Hiroshige rendered a view of Togetsu-kyō Bridge in Arashiyama. The actual scenery, however, differed greatly from this scene. He shows the two bridges spanning the river either side of the sandbar to be roughly the same length. Beyond the bridges, the size of Tonase Falls is much exaggerated. In fact, Hiroshige never visited Kyoto. These inaccuracies probably arose because he based the work on hearsay and pictures by other artists. Arashiyama was known for its stunning scenery long before the time of Hiroshige, who died in 1858. This representation sprung from his artful imagination.

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