Analysis: Utagawa Hiroshige Ll “Nihonbashi, Thirty Six Views Of Tokyo ( Tokyo Sanjurokkei )”

807 words - 4 pages

Niroshige ll, “Thirty-six views of Tokyo” is done in the style Ukiyo-e which during the Edo period was a way for artisans to mass produce their art work. Ukiyo-e is the technique of woodblock, Ukiyo-e has serval different themes. It consist of Bijin ( beautiful women of the pleasure quarter) Portraits of actors, Famous landscapes, and Asobi-e ( erotica ). The Nihonbasi “Thirty-six views of Tokyo” is done in the Landscape tradition, which is portrayed in the title of the print. Landscape prints normally feature a beautiful place in japan that the Chonin would want to visit, the artist Utagawa Hiroshige ll uses techniques to portray what the subject of the piece which is a harbor and shoreline that helps help portray a sense of depth and logging to the “Thirty-six views of Tokyo.”
With the subject of the print being so easily given, the composition of the print is one that is not so easily seen. There is a lot that is going on in the print which at first conveys a sense of chaos, theres maybe a bridge, a shoreline with buildings, boats and a ladder of some sort right in the middle of the print. It seems all put together in hast, however it is not, Hiroshiage ll use a technique when there is a lot going on in a piece of art, but want to leave the pieces like the boats, the bridge and the shoreline in the picture they therefore use a technique that is drawing the eye or creating a pathway for the eye to follow to where the main subject is in the print. For example: the bridge at the bottom acts as horizon line as well as the starting line, follow the bridge to the ladder in the middle of the composition, which leads the eye to the shoreline with the buildings. Hiroshige ll wants the observer to take notice of the shoreline and harbor that is focused on. A modern viewer would not know what harbor is being used in the print without further researcher, however that give the print a weight about it. The print draws the view into the print, with the composition of the of the piece being one that guides the viewer’s eye through the print, it also draws the viewer into the mists of the print, a since...

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