Bird's-eye View from Near the Top of a Pagoda with River, Bridge, and Temple in the Distance
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About the Artist
Ando Hiroshige was one of the most famous Japanese artists of the Ukiyo-e school. He was especially revered for his landscapes depicting lyrical scenes of everyday life.
Hiroshige was born in Edo (now Tokyo). When he was orphaned at the age of twelve, he assumed his father's job as firefighter. Soon, however, he was inspired by the prints of the esteemed artist Hokusai to become an artist. Hiroshige apprenticed himself to the artist Utagawa Toyohiro and for many years continued working as both a firefighter and an artist. In 1823, he was finally able to turn his firefighting duties over to his brother and devote himself full-time to painting.
Many of the Hiroshige prints in our collection were taken from Hiroshige's final, masterful series entitled One Hundred Famous Views of Edo. They were produced between 1856 and 1858 when Hiroshige was an accomplished artist at the height of his skill and renown.
Hiroshige became one of the most popular and prolific artists of his period, producing 5400 prints over his lifetime. Though Hiroshige's work was not as daring as that of Hokusai, the artist he so admired, Hiroshige was revered then and now for his poetic chronicles of daily life in 19th-century Japan.