Utagawa Hiroshige: The Summer Horse Fair at Chiryü (Staton #40) - Honolulu Museum of Art

Artist: Utagawa Hiroshige

Title: The Summer Horse Fair at Chiryü (Staton #40)

Date: c. 1833 - 1834

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Source: Honolulu Museum of Art
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Every year around the fourth month of the lunar calendar, about four to five hundred horses were gathered from the Kantö area and sold at Chiryü. During the market, it was crowded not only with horse sellers and buyers but with spectators, retailers, and even prostitutes targeting the market-goers. This print is a superb impression among several variants in the Academy’s collection of Hiroshige prints. As you can see in the before treatment photograph, the print suffered from a variety of structural damages to the washi, or paper support, including dents, creases, losses, and holes. The print was buckled due to an inappropriate previous mount, and very soiled and worn due to previous handling. The conservation treatment included a careful removal from the previous mount, where it was glued down at all four corners. After removing the paper backing and adhesive residues, the print was surface-cleaned, and losses were filled with toned washi. Finally, the work was carefully humidified overall using Gore-tex, and gently flattened under light weight and cotton waterleaf blotters. Washi hinges were adhered to the verso with wheat starch paste, pressed, and attached to museum-board for matting and framing. (from Washi in the Floating World exhibition 10/18/2004-)

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