A catalogue of the Ashmolean’s collection of prints of Edo by Ando Hiroshige (1797-1858) by Oliver Impey (published Oxford, 1993).
This booklet illustrates a selection of twenty prints from the series of woodblock prints by Ando Hiroshige called Meisho Edo Hakkei or One hundred views of famous places in Edo. These were published between 1856 and 1859, the last series Hiroshige designed. All prints are in the collection of the Department of Eastern Art, the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.
The series title is the longer, vertical cartouche in the upper right hand corner of the print, the same for all of the series. Beside it is the individual title for each print, giving the location within or near Edo, modern Tokyo. The obligatory censors' seals, from which the date of production of each print can be deduced, are either in the upper margin on the right or in the lower left margin. Sometimes they have been trimmed off, or they may be concealed by the mount.
The set was issued in no logical order; neither the locality nor the seasons seem to have had any influence. The order used here is adapted from other publications. This selection was made purely on aesthetic considerations, from those prints that are represented in the collection.
The pigments used for Japanese woodblock prints are fugitive and damaged by exposure to light. This means, unfortunately, that they cannot often be exhibited.
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