Artist: Utagawa Hiroshige
Title: The Summer Horse Fair at Chiryü (Staton #40)
Date: c. 1833 - 1834
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The fortieth station on the Tökaidö, Chiryü was well known for the annual horse market depicted here. This unusual, magnificent scene probably was not based on Hiroshige’s actual observations but rather, once again, on the Illustrated Book of Famous Places on the Tökaidö Road of the late 18th century. Sketching was a popular artistic trend during the late Edo period, influenced both by Chinese and Western art. Although the publisher advertised that these prints were based on Hiroshige’s observations and sketches when he accompanied an official trip from Edo to Kyoto in 1832, scholars have questioned whether or not this is really true, since many of his prints closely resemble earlier works by other artists. ("The Tôkaidô Road: Connecting Japan" exhibition Nov/26/2009-Jan/24/2010)