'On the Ocean at Shinagawa' from Series: 'Famous Places of Tokyo'

This original woodblock print depicts a large vessel on the ocean.  It bears the title, along with the artist's seal and the publisher seal for Fukuda Kumajirō (1874-1898).  The first edition was introduced in 1879.  This later edition was published in Kiyochika's lifetime in the 1880s. 

Kiyochika's first woodblock prints were basically in traditional Japanese style.  Around 1880, Kiyochika began using western elements like perspective, the effect of light and the graduations of shadows.  By that time, he likely had read about the French impressionists and seen photographs of their works in newspapers.  In 1894 Kiyochika established his own art school. One of his students was Tsuchiya Koitsu who stayed in his master's home for 19 years. Today Kobayashi is considered as the last master of the "old" ukiyo-e. However, he was able to combine traditional ukiyo-e with modern Western style and thus showed a new direction for a subsequent generation of young artists like Hasui Kawase or Hiroshi Yoshida.  Kiyochika could not stop the commercial decline of ukiyo-e, but he paved the way for a new renaissance of the Japanese print - the Shin Hanga movement.  Kobayashi worked until the year of his death.


Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915) 'On the Ocean at Shinagawa'


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