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Utagawa Hiroshige II

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Utagawa Hiroshige II

Japanese, (1826–1869)
He was born into a family of fire-watchmen, like his master Hiroshige I. He was originally named Suzuki Chimpei, and as his artistic career began, he was given the name Shigenobu by his master Hiroshige I. He was made part of his master's household, and married Hiroshige I's daughter Tatsu.

During the period 1849-1858, he produced his earliest works, very much in the style of Hiroshige I. His work was principally nature prints, although he also produced figure prints, and prints of samurai or historical subjects. He also began signing with 'Ichiyƫsai' a former go of Hiroshige I) during this period.

He is thought to have assisted Hiroshige I with a number of his later series, including "36 Views of Fuji" and the "Upright Tokaido". He is known to have contributed at least three prints in 10/1858 to Hiroshige I's last great series of landscape prints, the Hundred Views of Edo, using the signature "Hiroshige" (during Hiroshige I's lifetime).

After Hiroshige's death in 1858, in the first month of the following year he formally adopted his master's go of Ichiryusai and Hiroshige.

In 1865, he divorced his wife, moved to Yokohama, remarried, and adopted the names Ryusho and Rissho. Although his prints were shown at the Paris Exhibition in 1867, it brought him little success in Japan, and he was forced to make a living painting tea-sets and lanterns for export. He died in Yokohama, in great poverty, in 1869.


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