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Record Image
Hiroshige, Andō (Japanese, b.1797, d.1858)
Shono Hakuu ( Driving Rain at Shono Station)
Circa 1831-Circa 1834
woodblock print on paper
225 x 350 mm (image size)
Collection of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Given 1982 by Mary, Dora and Esmond de Beer through the National Art Collections Fund, London.
Together with Hokusai, Ando Hiroshige was one of the two ukiyo-e artists who shifted their attention to landscape. Although Hiroshige’s oeuvre embraces a broad range of landscape views from all over Japan, he is best remembered for his numerous series of images of the urban environs of Edo (Tokyo) and the more rural scenes of the Tokaido. The Tokaido road was the principal route connecting the old imperial capital of Kyoto and the modern centre of shogunate government, Edo. Each of the road’s many stations, or resting places, provided new and different subject-matter for Hiroshige’s brush.
The station town of Shono lay in the Province of Ise. Here its buildings are just visible through the darkness to the right of the composition. The more clearly illuminated foreground view of the highway provides Hiroshige with an opportunity to focus, characteristically, on a genre figure group – travellers rushing through the rain, two of them struggling with the weight of a norimono, or palanquin, its passenger just visible behind the flapping cloth cover. The characters on the umbrella carried by the figure at right read Takenouchi – the publisher of the series – and Gojusan tsugi, from the series title.
Like Hokusai in Sanka-hakuu, Hiroshige has vividly realised the atmospheric effects of the sheets of rain driving diagonally across the composition. The carefully modulated bokashi gradations (from dark to light) and the silhouetted bamboo groves together emphasise the dramatic effects of the falling evening light.

not on view

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