Hiroshige

Sudden Shower over Shin-Ōhashi Bridge and Atake (Ōhashi Atake no yūdachi), from the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (1857)- Fine Art Print

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About the Art

Ominous black clouds break and spill into a sudden, harsh downpour, scattering the people crossing Shin Ohashi bridge as they run for cover.

We look down on the scene from above, and as our gaze moves beyond the people on the bridge we see an oarsman punting down the river and the boathouses on the far forested bank shrouded in mist.

The sudden shower was a recurring motif in Japanese art, symbolically representing the sudden change of fortune which we are all subject to over the course of our lives.

Possibly Hiroshige’s most famous print, it is certainly recognised as one of his undoubted masterpieces. Some of the credit must go to the printer and the carver, as much of the effect comes from the beautiful gradation of the inks and the fine, hairline streaks of rain, that would have required exceptional skill to carve.

30 years after this print was made Vincent Van Gogh was inspired to paint a copy in oils.