Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido: Station 49, Sakanoshita, c. 1833-1834
Ink on Paper
8 3/4 in. x 13 11/16 in. (222.25 mm x 347.66 mm)
Same image as 54.1.6.
On paper backing, in pencil: "Throwing away brush peak" Great Tokaido no 49 Sakanoshita Johnson Collection XX 49 no. 32 46.1.154. On mat in pencil: "Throwing away brush peak" 46.1.154 Jo XX set 49 #34 Hiroshige.
Nishiki-e, horizontal oban; colored ink on paper.
Color woodblock print with figures on a cliffside, looking across to a large mountain (Mt. Fudesute).
The print depicts a scene of fantastic mountains, specifically Fudesute Mountain at Sakanoshita, to which something of a legend is attached. When a great painter of the Muromachi period (1392-1573) first encountered this range, he found its beauty and strangeness beyond human ability to describe with a brush, and in despair, he threw away his paintbrushes. The name 'Fudesute' literally means 'to through away the brush.'
Hiroshige met this challenge by rendering these peculiar mountains, and the harsh, dark ridges and waterfalls that occupy the upper left frame, with strange tones of intense blue. At the lower left, on a level area, is a teahouse crowded with travelers resting or sitting on benches and drinking tea. Three men gaze out, stunned at the sight of the mountain, but a farmer and his son coming up the road and driving an ox seem indifferent to it. A deep valley below the mountain, indicated by green bokashi, contrast with the yellow path. The sky's orange tembokashi gives the picture a feeling of the morning.
(ref. “Hokusai and Hiroshige,” p. 212)
Hoeido seal (Takenouchi Magohachi).
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