Ukiyo-e nature - christopher vargas

This gallery includes work by Ukiyo-e artists Utagawa Hiroshige and Katsushika Hokusai as well some additional artists. The Ukiyo-e style began around 17th century in Japan. Ukiyo-e stands for "pictures of the floating world." This is a collection of 1700-1900 Landscapes and Seascapes featuring the visual element of movement in the medium of Woodblock Printing. 

Under the Wave off Kanagawa (Kanagawa-oki nami-ura), also known as the Great Wave, from the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (Fugaku sanjūrokkei), Katsushika Hokusai, published by Nishimuraya Yohachi (Eijudō), about 1830 (Tenpō 1) - 1831 (Tenpō 2), From the collection of: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Probably my favorite of all the prints in this collection is this piece, which is another part of the collection of "The Thirty-six views of Mount Fuji." by Hokusai. The movement in this piece can be seen all throughout with dramatic lines representing the madness of the waters. The boats are seen below the giant wave that is about to engulf the objects. The movement of this piece also has a shift of focus from the foreground of the intense waters to the Mount Fuji. in the distance.
Kiso-Road, Warabi Station, Toda River Ferry Landing, Eisen Keisai, About 1835, From the collection of: Saitama Prefectual Museum of History and Folklore
This ukiyo-e work by Eisen Keisai comes from a collection of over 50 prints done in a series representing the Edo Period. This specific image shows the ferry arriving at Kiso Road. I chose this specific image because of the movement in which the artwork drives the viewers eyes. The focus begins with the ferry which holds a group of travelers eager to continue their journey. The focus then shifts towards Kiso Road to the left of the image where you see a group of people waiting for their arrival. Kiso road runs through Japan and is left untouched and is still a route that can be used in Japan today. This image is also a good representation of the movement of travelers as they continue their journey through this ancient path.
Shono from the Fifty-three Stations on Tokaido Highway, Hoeido version, Utagawa Hiroshige (the first), 1797/1858, From the collection of: Suntory Museum of Art
Tokaido was another route in Japan's Edo period which was connected to the City of Kyoto.In this Ukiyo-e print, travelers continue to push forward despite the intense storm. Done by Hiroshige who once traveled the road, depicts the harsh elements of Japan. The movement involved in this print begins with the down pour of rain which can be seen covering the image with thin lines of grey. In the background, you can see the trees and bush slanting to the left depicting the harsh winds during the storm.
Shichirigahama from Thirty-six views of Mt. Fuji, Artist: Utagawa Hiroshige, 1858, From the collection of: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
This woodblock print comes from the series of images called "Thirty six views of Mt. Fuji." While many of the images in this collection show the intense weather conditions of Japan, "Shichirigahama" is a more peaceful setting. I enjoyed this image because it is another print which drives the viewers eyes from foreground all the way to the background representing movement and also within the image itself. In the foreground you can see a mother and her children walking down the peaceful beach of Shichirigahama. Along the entire beach , Hiroshige emphasized the movement of the water with thin lines depicting the waves coming in towards the beach. While viewing this image your eyes might have focused towards the people in the foreground but for some, it might have started with the beautiful view of Mount Fuji. then focusing more towards the beach.
The Sea at Satta, Suruga Province, from the series "Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji", Ando Hiroshige, 1858, From the collection of: Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University
This is another print done by Hiroshige in his collection, "Thirty-six views of Mount Fuji." This particular Ukiyo-e print definitely represents the harsh conditions of Japan. There is tons of movement to be observed as you can see the crazy waters of Satta in the Suruga Province. Hiroshige used instense lines for the waves colliding with each other and the rocks seen to the right of the image. Even the wave in the foreground collides with the border of the image itself. Another visual indicator of movement is the birds seen flying above the ocean. Like most of the Ukiyo-e prints involved in "Thirty-six views of Mount Fuji." there is the element of movement with the viewers eyes beginning with the focus on the harsh waves of Satta then shifting the focus to the background with the view of Fuji.
Yokkaichi, Utagawa Hiroshige, 1833, From the collection of: Los Angeles County Museum of Art
This Ukiyo-e print is another image from the collection called "Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido." In this image, you can see a man in the foreground rushing to save his hat from blowing away in the wind. In the background, is the rural landscape of Yokkaichi followed by Ise Bay. Hiroshige really emphasized movement within this image starting in the foreground. You instantly understand that it is a windy day in Yokkaichi because of the sun hat escaping the mans grasp. Another indicator can be observed to the right of the image with the woman and her clothing blowing with the wind. In the background, the field of wheat as well as the trees leaves brush to the left along with the direction of the sun hat.
Waterfall at Aoigaoka in Edo, from "Famous Waterfalls in Various Provinces", Artist: Katsushika Hokusai, 1833, From the collection of: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
This is a Ukiyo-e woodblock print of a waterfall in Edo. This comes from a collection of waterfalls that Hokusai did to depict the beauty of Japans nature. This image shows off great examples of movement because of the action of the waterfall. The water above looks calm while the waterfall flows into the foreground and creates rustling seen because of the curved lines depicting the water being unsettled due to the movement of the waterfall. There is also a shifting focus from the foreground to the village in the middle ground up on the left and then to the background where small houses are seen in the distance.
Russo-Japanese War, Artist: Toyohara Chikanobu, 1904.2.20, From the collection of: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
This Ukiyo-e print is a depiction of the war between the Russian empire and the Japanese. In this particular image is a Naval battle taking place. The movement in this piece is evident. A Russian ship is seen sinking and being engulfed by the harsh waters. Toyohara used intense curves for the movement of the waves as they took over the ship at its last moment. Smoke is seen blowing up into the sky from the battle taking place. Toyohara also depicted movement in the cannon because of the smoke flowing out meaning that it had just been launched towards the sinking ship indicating the final blow.
American Sailing Ship, Artist: Utagawa Hiroshige II, Artist: Tsujiokaya Kamekichi, mid 19th-late 19th century, From the collection of: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
In this image you see an American ship sailing from the bay. The movement of the wind is most prominent in this print. There are several indicators of movement starting with the curved lines in the sea, showing the waters are far from calm as the giant ship sails by. Also, the sails on the ship itself are seen catching wind depicting the fast movement of the American Ship. The American Flag can also be seen blowing in the wind.
Six Tama [Jewel] Rivers in Various Provinces, Artist: Utagawa Hiroshige, 1857, From the collection of: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
This Ukiyo-e Print comes from another collection done by Hiroshige called "Six Tamagawa Rivers." In the image, 2 people are seen standing by the river observing the beautiful landscape. The movement of this piece begins with the focus on the foreground and then shifts focus towards the hills and mountains in the distance. Movement is also seen by the small lines added in the water, indicating the flowing river. In the middle ground you can also spot a waterfall off to the right with shades of blue and white also pointing towards the continuous flow of the water.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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