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HIROSHIGE Japanese Woodblock Print 100 VIEWS OF EDO DYER'S CLOTH 1857

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HIROSHIGE Japanese Woodblock Print 100 VIEWS OF EDO DYER'S CLOTH 1857


Hatsune Riding Grounds, Bakuro-cho

Number 6 from the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Date: originally published 5/1857, this print is Showa era from recarved wood blocks
Size: 10.5" x 15.75"
Condition: VG, uncirculated print, removed from presentation folder with minor spot thinning on verso
Impression: Fine, solid key lines, nice surface texture, tight registration
Color: Fine, deep saturated color and bleed through to verso
Documentation: One Hundred Famous Views of Edo Brazillier, 1986, print 6

A SENSE OF CALM pervades this gentle spring view of the open space known as Hasune no Baba, located in downtown Edo not far from Asakusa Gate. This space was originally a horse riding grounds for practice by the shogun's retainers, the oldest of several such in Edo. By Hiroshige's time, however, it no longer played a role in the defense of Edo, but was retained as an idle space in a crowded part of the city, with willows planted around its perimeter. This print provides evidence that dyers from Kon'ya-cho, several blocks to the west had taken to using the space for drying their cloth, three bolts of which are strung between posts in the foreground.

In the background, along the west edge of the riding grounds, stand one of the many fire-watch towers scattered throughout Edo; the bell beneath the eaves is ready to sound the alarm. The buildings below were largely devoted to lodgings for visitors to Edo, maintaining the long-established function of this site as a point of entry and departure along the Oshu Highway for travelers from the north.

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