2193 - 20160821 - U.S.A. - Williamsburg, VA - Hiroshige’s 53 Stations of the Tokaido - 06.02.2016-21.08.2016


Hiroshige’s 53 Stations of the Tokaido  explores the most traveled road in old Japan with fresh eyes. This exhibition presents five distinct complete sets of Hiroshige’s The 53 Stations of the Tokaido Road never before displayed together. Centering on the fifty-five woodblock prints of Hiroshige’s famed first set, the Hoeido Tokaido (1832-1833, oban), the four additional series reveal the spectrum of Hiroshige’s visual poetry: Sanoki Tokaido (late 1830s, bound, chuban); Gyosho Tokaido (c. 1841-1842, aiban); Tsutaya Tokaido (c. 1850, bound, chuban); Upright Tokaido (1855, oban).  Hiroshige’s Tokaido  immerses the viewer in a panoramic view of the Tokaido and Hiroshige’s romance with the landscape of Japan. All works in this exhibition are on loan from the Ronin Collection of the Ronin Gallery, New York.

About Hiroshige’s Tokaido
Traveled as early as the 8th century, the Tokaido traced the eastern coastline of Japan. At the beginning of the 17th century, ruling power shifted from the emperor to the shogun, inviting an unprecedented level of activity on the road. By 1689, 53 stations connected the Eastern Capital of Edo (modern Tokyo), the seat of the shogun, to Kyoto, the Imperial capital. The Tokaido was the most traveled road in Japan: a 323-mile artery providing the backbone of trade and communication until the arrival of railways during the Meiji period. While novels, guidebooks, paintings and prints extolled the adventures of life on the road long before the Hoeido Tokaido, Hiroshige’s 55-piece set of woodblock prints captured the spirit of adventure like never before. Through changing seasons and viewpoints, 53 Stations of the Tokaido guides the viewer through each station, each veritable microcosm of Edo-period culture, as they journey from Edo’s Nihonbashi to the Sanjo Bridge in Kyoto.
About the Artist
Known as the “poet of travel,” Hiroshige was born in Edo in 1779. He grew up in a minor samurai family and his father belonged to the firefighting force assigned to Edo Castle. While he entered his apprenticeship in 1811, Hiroshige’s artistic genius went largely unnoticed until 1832 with his groundbreaking series, 53 Stations of the Tokaido. In 1858, at the age of 61, he passed away as a result of the Edo cholera epidemic. However, the legacy of Hiroshige’s work profoundly influenced the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists of Europe: Toulouse-Lautrec was fascinated with Hiroshige’s daring diagonal compositions and inventive use of perspective, while van Gogh literally copied two prints from 100 Famous Views of Edo in oil paint.
About The Ronin Collection
The Ronin Collection is the private collection of the Ronin Gallery, a leading family-owned Japanese and East Asian art gallery in New York City, and the largest private collection of 17th-21st century Japanese prints for sale in the United States. Founded in 1975 in the Explorers Club Mansion of New York City, the Ronin Gallery is now located at Madison Ave. and 49th St. For more information about the gallery and to access the gallery’s online exhibitions, visit roningallery.com. 
Muscarelle Museum of Art - Hiroshige’s 53 Stations of the Tokaido - 06.02.2016 - 21.08.2016