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Inside Akiba Shrine, Ukeji, No. 91 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Utagawa Hiroshige

Asian Art

In this view of Akiba Shrine in the village of Ukeji, Hiroshige again uniquely handles a Western visual effect: the reflection of trees in water. The artist has carefully muted the colors of the trees as they appear in reflection so that the green of the pines is lightened and the red of the maples is softened to a light pink. Perhaps by coincidence, the bright red of the maple leaves is appropriate to the nature of the deity worshiped at this site: the god of Akiba Shrine, who protects against fire. The red pigment used for the maples here is different from the red lead or iron oxide that has blackened in numbers 88 and 94, so this is the only print in the series in which the original glory of the autumn colors can still be fully enjoyed.

MEDIUM Woodblock print
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES 8th month of 1857
    PERIOD Edo Period, Ansei Era
    DIMENSIONS Sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 1/4 in. (36 x 23.5 cm) Image: 13 3/8 x 8 3/4 in. (34 x 22.2 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS Publisher: Shitaya Uo Ei. Date and censor seal s at top margin.
    SIGNATURE Hiroshige-ga
    ACCESSION NUMBER 30.1478.91
    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 The fire god of Akiba Shrine, located in the village of Ukeji, east of the Sumida River, was very popular among the wives and ladies-in-waiting of the daimyo estates of Edo for protection against fire. Within the shrine grounds are many green pines and vermillion maples, particularly beautiful in the late autumn. In the water reflection the green of the pines becomes yellowish and the red of the maples is softened to a light pink. This is the only print in the series in which the brilliant autumn colors are fully enjoyed; the red pigment used here is different from the red lead which blackened in prints 88 and 94. The author has proposed that the figure of the priest seated in the teahouse in the lower left, sketching the autumn foliage, may very well be Hiroshige himself. He became a lay priest in the Third Month of 1856, at the age of sixty, just at the time this series began to appear. In 1882, twenty-five years after the artist's death, a stone memorial was erected here by Hiroshige III, the last in the direct Hiroshige line, which was engraved with the artist's parting verse and a small image of the artist in priest's robes inscribing a poem. The memorial was destroyed in the great earthquake of 1923.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Utagawa Hiroshige (Japanese, 1797–1858). Inside Akiba Shrine, Ukeji, No. 91 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 8th month of 1857. Woodblock print, Sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 1/4 in. (36 x 23.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Anna Ferris, 30.1478.91 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 30.1478.91_PS20.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 30.1478.91_PS20.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2023
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