Hiroshige: The harbour of Murotsu
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Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858)
A view of the harbour of Murotsu (situated in today’s Hyôgo prefecture) and the wide Inland Sea behind. The title cartouche of the series in the shape of a gunbai, a referee fan in sumo wrestling.
Title: Harima Muro no tsu (The Harbour of Muro in Harima Province).
Series: Sankai mitate zumô (Wrestling matches between Mountains and Seas)
Signature: Hiroshige ga
Publisher: Maruya Jinpachi (Marujin, Enjudô), Edo
Date: 1858, 7th month
Size: Horizontal Oban, 22 x 34,3 cm (image size)
Very good impression and colours. Wide margins, unbacked. Minor soiling in margins, some tiny stains, partly caused by printing, minimal creasing. Overall excellent condition.
From the rarely seen somewhat later edition published by Maruya Jinpachi, which generally is carefully printed and held in more delicate shades. Maruya supposedly took over the blocks from Yamadaya, the publisher of the first edition, who seemingly went out of business. This attractive landscape series shows ten harbours and ten mountains of Japan. With these, his last oeuvre, the late Hiroshige surprisingly returns to his earlier horizontal landscape format.
Cf. (this ed.) Honolulu Museum of Art, Michener Collection, No. 23181. „Considered one of the best designs in the series“ - Tamba, The Art of Hiroshige, Tokio 1965, p. 29, No. 387