Andō Hiroshige
Evening Cherry Blossoms at Gotenyama (Edo)
c. 1830

Signed: Ichiyūsai Hiroshige ga; Publisher: Edo Kyōbashi, Ginza yon-chōme, Kawaguchi Shōzō; censor’s seal: kiwame; ōban, yoko-e, 23.5 x 37.0 cm; nishiki-e with ichimonji-bokashi

From “Famous Places in the Eastern Capital (Edo)”. On the Gotenyama (Palace Hill) in Shinagawa, just outside of Edo, there once stood a palace which dated back to Ōta Dokan, the founder of Edo, and which was also used as a retreat by the early Tokugawa Shōguns. After the Shōgun Villa burned down, Gotenyama became one of the most popular excursion sites for viewing cherry blossoms. This series marked Hiroshige’s debut as a master of the landscape in ukiyo-e.

F. Tikotin, La Tour de Peilz (February 1964)
Riese Collection #136

With this set Hiroshige made his debut as a designer of landscape prints. All the poetry and tranquillity for which his later prints have been so highly esteemed is already present here, as in this view of twilight over Edo Bay, the blue of the water lightening in the distance and the sky becoming grey at the horizon. The set was popular and was republished, but only the early impressions, like this one, have the decorative printed border and the name of the publisher with his address in the right-hand margin. This set is often dated by Japanese writers to the early 1830s, but if Kuniyoshi designed his Nichiren series in 1831, a date of ca. 1830 is more likely.

Reproduced in Ingelheim catalogue, no. 121.