Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido: Station 40, Chirifu, c. 1833-1834
Ink on Paper
8 7/8 in. x 13 13/16 in. (225.43 mm x 350.84 mm)
On mat in pencil: Exhibited Nov-Dec 1987 Clark Museum, Hiroshige Chiryu Station 40, Horse Fair in Early Summer. On paper mounting in pencil: Johnson Collection XIX 40. Signed: Hiroshige ga. Censor's seal: Kiwame.
Nishiki-e, horizontal oban; colored ink on paper.
Color woodblock print with an image of horses and workers in a field.
Chiryu was famous for its annual horse market. Held for ten days starting on the twenty-eighth day of the fourth month. With 400 or 500 horses, it was an impressive gathering. Hiroshige, however, could not have observed this fair if in fact he had traveled on the Tokaido road in 1832, because he would have passed Chiryu later, in summer. He nonetheless depicted this famous fair, an image based on the picture Chiryu, which appeared in the travel guide of the late eighteenth century, Tokaido meisho zue (Illustrated Book of Famous Places on the Tokaido Road).
From foreground to middle ground, many horses graze in the field, which is colored in tones of deep and light yellowish green. Some are attended by grooms. The gray and white round-bodied horses appear to be well fed. Under a large tree in the distance, hose traders have gathered. The illustration that Hiroshige alluded to in this print has many more horses and people. Here, he personalized the scene by limiting their numbers.
The smooth and expansive tembokashi effect in red, running from the top downward, and blue bokashi, from the horizon upward, are interrupted by only two trees.
The earliest state of Chiryu includes a mountain with a shape resembling a whale, colored in ink; in the late state, as here, the mountain is absent (Link1991, vol.2, p.20).
(ref. “Hokusai and Hiroshige,” p.203 )
Hoeido (Takenouchi Magohachi) seal.
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