Hiroshige

The Plum Blossom Garden at Kameido (1857) - Framed & Mounted Print

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About the Art

We appear between the branches of a particularly famous plumtree, called “Garyusai” or “Sleeping Dragon”, which was mentioned in all of the old guidebooks to the city of Edo. In the top left-hand corner of the print is the back of the sign that bears the name of this famous tree.

Through the branches we see numerous plum trees in blossom, and behind the fence, strolling visitors and admiring them. The closeness of the tree branches and the distance of the figures give this scene a sense of voyeurism.

One of the most famous prints of not just the series, but Hiroshige’s entire career, this masterpiece was copied directly by Vincent van Gogh as an artistic exercise. It makes use of one of Hiroshige’s favourite devices, that of the object placed very prominently in the foreground, which creates a sense of subjectivity and distance from the background objects.

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