Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858)
'Kiga Hot Springs'
From the series 'Tour of the Seven Hot Springs Resorts in Hakone'
Uchiwa-e (fan print), aizuri-e (blue-printed pictures), fûkei-ga (landscape print)
Signature: Hirogshige ga
Publisher: Ibaya Senzaburô
Censorship seals: Kinugasa and Murata
Museum no. E.12066-1886
This is an example of an uchiwa-e, a print designed to decorate a fan. The fan-shaped image was printed on a regular aiban-size sheet, and later cut out.
Hakone was already popular in the Edo period as a sightseeing and a hot spring resort.
Hiroshige was one of the great artists who worked in the fûkei-ga (landscape print) genre. His romantic conception of landscape is conveyed in the harmonious compositions of his prints.
This work is printed in blue alone, except for the red panels containing a series title and place names. Blue appears to have been favoured for fan prints, as it conveys a feeling of coolness.
Examples whereby the designs are executed almost exclusively in different tones of blue are known as aizuri-e or 'blue-printed pictures'. This predominant pigment is either indigo or bero-ai (Prussian blue). Prints in which bero-ai predominates are often called bero aizuri-e (Prussian blue printed pictures). The extensive use of bero-ai (Prussian blue) seen in landscape prints by Hiroshige and other artists suggests that its introduction in the 1820s was an important stimulus to the development of the landscape print.
This print can be found in Japanese Print Room Box JP1.