Published by Skira. Edited with text by Gian Carlo Calza. Text by Shawn Eichman, Rossella Menegazzo.
This substantial volume offers a broad panorama of the hugely popular oeuvre of Hiroshige (1797–1858), the great artist of the Japanese popular school of printmaking who transmuted everyday landscapes into intimate, lyrical scenes. The text examines his life and achievements, and elucidates the special qualities that made his prints so popular in 19th-century Japan and Europe.
Alongside Hokusai, Hiroshige dominated the popular art of Japan in the first half of the 19th century, capturing the ordinary person's experience of the Japanese landscape as well varied moods of memorable places at different times. Ukiyo-e publishing was not a cultural institution subsidized by public funds, but rather a commercial business. During his lifetime, Hiroshige was well known and commercially successful—his total output was immense, some 5,400 prints in all—but Japanese society took little notice of him, and his reputation only began in earnest with his discovery in Europe.
Hiroshige: The Master of Nature features an abundance of color plates, and at more than 300 pages is the most complete overview currently available.