Andō Hiroshige
Descending Geese at Katada

Signed: Hiroshige ga; Publisher’s seal: Eikyūdō (Yamamotoya Heikichi); censor’s seal: kiwame; ōban, yoko-e, 25.3 x 37.5 cm; nishiki-e with fukibokashi and musenzuri

From the series “Eight Views of Ōmi”, On a winter afternoon the fishermen on Lake Biwa are hauling in their nets. On the left is the famous Ukimidō (“Floating Hall”), a small Buddhist shrine built in the lake. It is part of a temple complex on the shore of the lake behind it. Two flocks of the wild geese that spend every winter on Lake Biwa are crossing the evening sky. This site was an extremely popular motif among writers and painters in old Japan.

Monnsen, Stockholm; F. Tikotin, La Tour de Peilz (June 1968)
Riese Collection #146

The finest impressions of this tranquil design are printed entirely in shades of blue and grey, with a distinct pattern of embossing on the waves. These impressions used a block for the distant mountain with a sharp peak at the left, and two distinct peaks at the right. An impression of this state is reproduced in Ledoux, Hokusai to Hiroshige, no. 27. In the second state of the print, the block for the mountain was changed to the more roundly contoured shape we see here, and the colour scheme was altered to give an effect of sunset rather than nightfall, just as the colours were altered on the view of Mii Temple. (It might be mentioned that green was also added in somewhat later impressions of Mt. Hira). Here the mountain in the middle distance is green, and there is a glow of orange along the horizon. Impressions of this state are reproduced in Kikuchi 1277, Ukiyo-e Taikei, Vol. 11, no. 156, Scheiwe catalogue, no. 468.

A final state, with the same colour scheme, but with a large break on the right side of the hat of the rightmost fisherman in the middle boat is reproduced in the Vignier and Inada catalogue, no. 240, pl. LXIV. Because of poor colour reproduced that print also looks hand-collared, and seems to have a new block with clouds to the right of the title cartouche. Late impressions with the green mountain seem to lack the embossed waves that mark the first state and this impression.

Reproduced in Riese, Asiatische Studien, 1972, p. 114, no. 34.