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Kiyomizu Temple (1835)

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About the Art

In the warm lantern light of a tea house, a party admire Kiyomizu temple, nestled in the forested hills.

This charming print is from Hiroshige’s series “Famous Places in Kyoto”, which featured ten seasonal views of Kyoto’s beautiful landscape. In this piece, the perspective is shifted to offer a view of the Kiyomizu temple from the south. With delicate hints of pink from the swishing cherry blossoms and the pale tips of an afternoon sky, Hiroshige creates atmosphere using only the subtlest colour palette. 

Kiyomizu temple is named after the sacred waterfall it was built on, translating to mean “Pure Water Temple”. 

From this scene you can see the famous wooden batten structure of the temple, which was built on the mountain without the use of a single nail. The large balcony of the temple, known as the stage, was built 13 metres high, which led to the development of a popular Japanese expression. “To jump off the stage at Kiyomizu”is the Japanese equivalent of the English expression "to take the plunge", after many tested fate and survived the jump. 

Perhaps it is this that the figures are marvelling and pointing at from the comfort of the tea house.

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      • Fade resistant paper and canvas materials, with a matte finish for an authentic look

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