Soto Beach in Mutsu Province
From the series “One Hundred Famous Places in the Provinces (Shokoku meisho hyakkei)"
(1797 - 1858)
10.24 x 14.96 in. (26 x 38 cm)
Medium and Support:
Woodblock print on paper
Museum purchase, 2017
Bellarmine Hall Galleries, Print Case: Drawer 1
The artist known as Hiroshige II (born Suzuki Chinpei, and later known as Shigenobu) took this title upon the death of his master and father-in-law, the more famous Utagawa Hiroshige, in 1858. Only relatively recently have scholars learned to distinguish between his work and the earlier Hiroshige, as Hiroshige II imitated his master’s style and subjects. Hiroshige, for example, was well known for a series of prints entitled One Hundred Famous Views of Edo; Hiroshige II, in turn, produced a series entitled One Hundred Famous Views in the Various Provinces. This print formed part of this series. It depicts part of the coastline on the northern tip of the main Japanese island of Honshu, today in Aomori Prefecture.
Like his master, Hiroshige II formed part of the Utagawa school of woodblock printers, who worked in the artistic genre known as ukiyo-e or the “floating world.” Ukiyo-e prints featured a broad variety of subjects, from famous actors to erotic scenes, depicted with the vibrant mix of colors made possible by the multi-block printing process. During the 19th century, ukiyo-e prints featuring landscapes and scenes of city and country life became very popular in the West, and had a marked impact on European artists.