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Temple of the Golden Pavillion (1834)

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About the Art

Figures look out from the pavilion’s shimmering balcony and onto a tranquil water garden. Sky merges with water around the misty morning scene.

This piece is from Hiroshige’s series "Famous Places in Kyoto”, and depicts one of the most revered sites of the city. The temple, ‘Kinkaku-ji’, translates to mean “Temple of the Golden Pavilion”, which derives from the pure gold leaf it’s coated in. Aside from being a beautiful addition, the gold leaf has symbolic meaning. It was intended to purify any pollution or negative thoughts or feelings towards death. 

Atop the pavilion’s roof is a phoenix ornament, also coated in gold, which symbolises peace and prosperity of a new era and usually represented the imperial household.

The pavilion is situated in what is called a “mirror pond”, which reflects the shimmering gold of the structure when hit by the sun. The pond itself is designed around zen typology - so each of the rocks were placed in a deliberate manner. The largest islet in front represents Japan.

Hiroshige avoided garish colours, instead favouring different methods of using a subtler colour palette. He embraced labor-intensive techniques such as colour gradation, in order to achieve exquisite elements of nature such as mist and sky. 

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    • Arrives ready-to-hang
      • Mounting brackets for framed and canvas prints are included and centered on the frame
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      • Every piece is made using the Giclee printing process, the standard for precise prints with stunning colors.
    • Made to last, even in bright/sunny rooms
      • Fade resistant paper and canvas materials, with a matte finish for an authentic look

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