After Katsushika Hokusai, the most important artist from the ukiyo-e school was Andō Tokutaro, who later adopted the artistic name Utagawa Hiroshige. His works are more subjective than those by the earlier master, featuring unusual perspectives and a highly expressive use of color. Today he is considered the last great master of Japanese woodblock prints.
Like Hokusai, Hiroshige created several series of prints, being the most important "The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō" and "100 views of Edo". In the Western world the latter is the most famous of the two, as it includes such famous prints as “Great Bridge, Sudden Shower at Atake”, selected in 2006 as one of the 50 masterworks of painting by theartwolf.com. However, the most interesting landscapes are found in the Tōkaidō series.
In Japan in the 19th century, the Tōkaidō was a newly created route linking Edo (now Tokyo) with Kyoto, then the capital of the country. The road had 53 shukubas (post stations). Hiroshige traveled the route in 1832 and the sketches he made during his trip resulted in 55 woodblock prints (one for each shukuba, and two more for the starting and ending points of the Tōkaidō) that deserve to rank among the most important landscapes ever painted. The variety of the series is amazing, featuring coastal and river landscapes, winter scenes... Perhaps the most striking landscape of the entire series is "The Lake at Hakone", in which the use of "plain" colors seems to anticipate the Western avant-garde from the following century.
Hiroshige's works were greatly admired by the post-impressionist painters, especially by Vincent van Gogh, who copied several works by Hiroshige, adapting them to his own style.
Gabriel Fernández - theartwolf.com