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Sudden Shower Over Shin-Ohashi Bridge and Atake

Number 58 from the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Date: originally published 1857, this is a Showa era edition published from recut blocks
Size: oban approx. 10.5" x 15.75"
Condition: VG, no flaws of note
Impression: Fine, solid key lines, nice surface texture, tight registration
Color: Fine, deep saturated color and bleed through to verso
Documentation: One Hundred Famous Views of Edo Brazillier, 1986, print 58

WE CAN ALMOST HEAR THE CRACK OF THUNDER as the roiling black clouds burst into sheets of heavy rain, scattering the huddled shapes on the bridge below. This print is the undisputed masterpiece of the One Hundred famous Views of Edo. It bears comparison in its universal appeal with another of Hiroshige's most famous landscapes, Shono in The Fifty-three Stations of The Tokaido, with which it shares the theme of escape from a sudden rain.

The immediate appeal of this composition is enhanced by finely wrought details. The irregular pattern of the black clouds above reveals to a rare degree the spontaneous hand of the printer, differing visibly from one print to another. The torrent of rain turns out on close inspection to be an overlay of black on gray at slightly different angles, some lines broken, other extending the length of the composition. The six figures on the bridge offer a lively diversity of ways to escape from the rain, in ones, twos and threes, under hats, mats, and umbrellas, in one direction and another.

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