This print of Ishiyama Temple and Lake Biwa is from Hiroshige’s series Eight Views of Ōmi Province (Ōmi Hakkei), based on a Chinese landscape series called the Eight Views of Xiaoxiang. These eight views were the subject of Chinese poems and paintings from the 11th century, each with a specific theme: returning sails, descending geese, autumn moon, evening bells, evening glow, evening snow, evening rain, and clearing weather. From the 14th century, Japanese painters borrowed these Chinese scenes and by the 15th century had localized them into the Eight Views of Ōmi (in Shiga Prefecture near Kyoto). The theme was first explored in woodblock prints by Harunobu in the 18th century and Hiroshige in the 19th century. Here, Hiroshige evokes Chinese landscape paintings in the rugged rocks of the mountainside and the pine tree barely clinging to the cliff.
Signed Hiroshige ga. Publisher's seal (Uoya Eikichi).
Colored ink on paper; woodblock print; oban tat-e.
Ninteenth century Japanese color woodblock print depicting Lake Biwa with clouds. On the left rises a steep rocky cliff, on the summit of which stands Ishiyama Temple, overlooking the lake. In the distance appears the long Seta Bridge, while still further, on the horizon, a mountain shows through the mist, its peak emerging above the moonlit haze.
Uoya Eikichi (c. 1857).
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