100 Views of Edo # 86 by Ando Hiroshige
Artist: Ando Utagawa Hiroshige (1787-1858)
Woodblock Prints Title: Nait˘ Shinjuku, Yotsuya (Yotsuya Nait˘ Shinjuku), from the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (Meisho Edo hyakkei)
1st Publication: November 1857
Size: Vertical ˘ban; 36 x 24 cm (14 3/16 x 9 7/16 in.)
Date of this edition: November 1857
Publisher: Uoya Eikichi
Condition: Trimmed to the margins, a small thin area by the lower center of the print else very fine. Very good colors and impression, good overall condition.
Notes: Why would the artist choose such an odd vantage point? The lowness of the subject matter, apart from the hind view, is important in considering this print in context; it is an appropriate expression of the place: Naitō Shinjuku, near Yotsuya Gate, the western entrance to Edo. Founded in 1698, this quarter was intended from the start as a semiofficial center of prostitution and the first stop along Kōshū Highway out of Edo. The prostitutes at this down-to-earth settlement were described as "flowers blooming in the horse droppings of Yotsuya." Hiroshige pays close attention to the placement of the objects on the ground, from the straw-sandaled legs of the two horses and their groom to the five separate balls of manure.
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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