Utagawa Hiroshige: Fireworks at Ryögoku - Honolulu Museum of Art

Artist: Utagawa Hiroshige

Title: Fireworks at Ryögoku

Date: 1857

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Source: Honolulu Museum of Art
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One of Hiroshige’s best-known images, this print was published as a part of the renowned series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo. This series was among Hiroshige’s last major accomplishments, and reveals the ingenuity, bold compositions and innovative perspectives that are the hallmarks of his late style. The display of fireworks at Ryögoku was surely one of the most exciting summer events in the city of Edo. The fireworks were paid for by local tea houses and restaurants as well as by pleasure-boat owners. Most of the picture depicts the dark sky in gradations of blue (bokashi). Against this deeply colored background, the viewer can still get some sense of what a breathtaking sight the fireworks must have been in the 19th century, before the interference of electric light. “Midsummer Night’s Pleasure” 08/05/2010-10/10/20100 *************************

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