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About Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858)
Utagawa Hiroshige was one of the last great artists to work in the ukiyo-e tradition. After being rejected as a student to Utagawa Toyokuni at the age of 15, the young Hiroshige eventually secured an apprenticeship with Utagawa Toyohiro in 1811. He was quick to master the school's techniques, and Toyohiro bestowed the name "Utagawa" on him after only one year (instead of the usual period of two to three years).

In his early work Hiroshige largely confined himself to common ukiyo-e themes such as women (bijin-ga) and actors (yakusha-e). But after the death of Toyohiro  in 1831, Hiroshige made a dramatic turnabout when he released his landscape series Famous Views of the Eastern Capital, which was critically acclaimed for its composition and colors. The issuing beginning in 1833 of The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido, which depicted the life and landscapes along the fabled Tokaido Road from Edo to Kyoto, cemented his success. The Tokaido designs were drawn from Hiroshige's actual travels on the 300 mile highway. Hiroshige went on to produce more than 2000 different designs of the Tokaido stations, Edo, and its environs. Other notable series were The Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaido (1834-1842) and Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (1852-1858). 

In 1856, working with the publisher Uoya Eikichi, Hiroshige embarked on the creation of a series of luxury edition prints called One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, which was made with the finest printing techniques including bokashi (gradation of color), mica to lend an iridescent effect, embossing, and blind printing. The series, which was issued serially, was immensely popular, and still in production at the time of Hiroshige's death at the age of 62 during the great Edo cholera epidemic of 1858 . The set was completed posthumously with two designs added by Hiroshige II.

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Hiroshige

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