print

This print, one of Hiroshige’s best-known works, depicts travellers caught in a summer rainstorm. The composition makes clever use of diagonals to emphasize the strength of the wind and driving rain, while the shading and tonal variation of the black ink in the background skilfully expresses the intensity of the storm. The print was enormously popular and was reissued countless times. Printers varied pigment colours and the degree of bokashi gradation to achieve different atmospheric effects.

Details

  • Catalogue text

    This print, one of Hiroshige’s best-known works, depicts two groups of travellers caught in a sudden summer rainstorm near the town of Shōno (in modern Mie Prefecture). Against a backdrop of bamboo trees bending steeply in the gale, a man in a straw cape and two palanquin bearers race up the mountainside towards shelter. The palanquin has been covered with an oilskin jacket for protection, but the traveller inside is just visible at an open corner. Meanwhile, two men run downhill clutching hat and umbrella against the wind. On the umbrella are two inscriptions: Takenouchi (the name of the print’s publisher) and gojūsan tsugi (53 stations). In later editions these inscriptions are omitted.
    The composition makes clever use of diagonals to emphasize the strength of the wind and driving rain, while the shading and tonal variation of the black ink in the background skilfully express the intensity of the storm. The print was enormously popular and was reissued countless times. Printers made various changes over the years, altering pigment colours and the degree of bokashi to achieve different atmospheric effects. In earlier impressions, for example, the rows of bamboo are printed in more uniform shades of grey, and black bokashi was used in front of the houses on the right, while in later impressions the rain is more prominently printed.

    In: Pollard, Clare, Mitsuko Ito Watanabe, Landscape, Cityscape: Hiroshige Woodblock Prints in the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2014)

Further reading

Pollard, Clare, Mitsuko Ito Watanabe, Landscape, Cityscape: Hiroshige Woodblock Prints in the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2014), no. 8, p. 52, illus. p. 53

Reference URL

?
q-seffron-icon q-white-icon pluse-seffron-icon pluse-white-icon minus-seffron-icon minus-white-icon close-seffron-icon close-white-icon close-black-icon prv-gry-arrow prv-arrow print-seffron-icon print-black-icon next-arrow next-gry-arrow next-white-arrow up-arrow-black up-arrow black-up-arrow black-down-arrow white-up-arrow white-down-arrow hr-list-gry-icon hr-list-white-icon vr-list-gry-icon vr-list-white-icon eye-icon zoomin-icon zoomout-icon fullview-icon contact-black-icon contact-seffron-icon basket-seffron-icon basket-black-icon share-black-icon share-seffron-icon go-arrow search-white-icon