Artist: Ando Utagawa Hiroshige (1787-1858)
Woodblock Print Title: Pine of Success and Oumayagashi, Asakusa River (Asakusagawa Shubi no matsu Oumayagashi), from the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (Meisho Edo hyakkei)
1st Publication: August 1856
Size: Vertical ˘ban; 36.5 x 24.5 cm (14 3/8 x 9 5/8 in.)
Date of this edition: August 1856
Publisher: Uoya Eikichi
Condition: Partially trimmed on the upper and left margin, affecting the seals
Notes: Very rare 1st edition. Deluxe edition with Mica in the sky area. Usually, this technique was reserved for good customer or prestigious people, as the technology was fairly new, expensive and difficult to master.
More about this print: It is a clear, starlit evening on the Asakusa River. In the foreground is the famous Pine of Success, hanging out over the river and the two passing boats of the Oumayagashi Ferry.
There is a subtle eroticism in this night scene. Can you locate the suggestive clues? Enclosed in its own private space to the lower left is a roofed pleasure boat. Two pairs of clogs rest in the bow, hinting at a tryst on board, and barely perceptible is the faint silhouette of a woman's head and shoulders behind the lowered blinds. One commentator has proposed that the agitated waves below are similarly suggestive.
Pictures: Pictures are taken outdoor, in the shade, to reflect true colors, without any enhancements of any kind. The last picture is taken indoor, with a light behind the print, to reveal the exact paper grain, holes if any, or other possible flaws.
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