100 Views of Edo # 113 Deluxe Edition by Ando Hiroshige
Artist: Ando Utagawa Hiroshige (1787-1858)
Woodblock Prints Title: Aoi Slope, Outside Toranomon Gate (Toranomon-soto Aoizaka) from the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (Meisho Edo hyakkei)
1st Publication: November 1857
Size: Vertical ˘ban; 35.3 x 23.6 cm (13 7/8 x 9 5/16 in.)
Date of this edition: 1857
Publisher: Uoya Eikichi
Condition: Right margin extension, lower margin trimmed and restored. Some rubbing and mild color fading. Very strong wood grain, good overall condition.
Notes: This is an extremely rare Deluxe edition with Mica in the sky and river banks 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: Why are two half-naked figures out on such a chilly night? It was customary for artisan apprentices to engage in kan-mairi, wintry nighttime visits to temples and shrines where they would bathe in icy water to temper their bodies and offer prayers to the gods for the refinement of their skills.
These two apprentices are returning from a visit to Konpira Shrine, which lay directly behind and to the right. Like the bundled figures on Aoi Slope to the left, they carry lanterns; the lantern of the shorter apprentice bears the name of the shrine god, Konpira Daigongen. The other apprentice also holds a small bell, which he rings as they hurry bravely through the cold.
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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