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Horikiri Iris Garden (Horikiri no Hanashobu), No. 64 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Utagawa Hiroshige

Asian Art

The village of Horikiri was known for producing flowers for the Edo market. While the gardeners of Horikiri grew a year-round variety of flowers, the fame of the place derived from the flower represented here, a type of iris known as hanashobu that was ideally suited to the area's swampy land. In the immediate foreground are three carefully detailed specimens. In the distance, sightseers from Edo may be seen admiring the blossoms. Hiroshige noted that so many lovely women from Edo came to view the blossoms that it was difficult to distinguish which were the real flowers.

MEDIUM Woodblock print
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES 5th month of 1857
    PERIOD Edo Period, Ansei Era
    DIMENSIONS Sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 5/16 in. (36.1 x 23.6 cm) Image: 13 1/4 x 8 3/4 in. (33.7 x 22.3 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS No publisher's seal visible, probably lost when left margin was trimmed.
    SIGNATURE Hiroshige-ga
    ACCESSION NUMBER 30.1478.64
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Anna Ferris
    PROVENANCE Prior to 1930, provenance not yet documented; by 1930, acquired by Anna Ferris of Summit, NJ; 1930, gift of Anna Ferris to the Brooklyn Museum.
    Provenance FAQ
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION In the village of Horikiri in suburban Edo, gardeners grew a year-round variety of flowers and were particularly famous for the iris shown here, "hanashobu," well suited to this swampy land. In this print Hiroshige has shown three, almost-life-size, detailed specimens of the nineteenth-century hanashobu hybrids and in the distance, sightseers from Edo are admiring the blossoms. In the 1870's the cultivation of hanashobu had begun to spread rapidly in Europe and America and the developed into a booming export market for the gardeners of Horikiri. The Horikiri plantations began to wane in the 1920's and eventually turned over to wartime food production. After the war, one of them was revived and is now a public park, particularly popular in May when the flowers are in bloom.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Utagawa Hiroshige (Japanese, 1797–1858). Horikiri Iris Garden (Horikiri no Hanashobu), No. 64 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 5th month of 1857. Woodblock print, Sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 5/16 in. (36.1 x 23.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Anna Ferris, 30.1478.64 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 30.1478.64_PS20.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 30.1478.64_PS20.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2023
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