Station 45: Shono, from The Fifty-three Stages of the Tokaido

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Ando Hiroshige (Japanese, 1797–1858)
Station 45: Shono, from The Fifty-three Stages of the Tokaido, 1833–34
Color woodcut
block: 8 7/8 × 13 3/4 in. (22.54 × 34.93 cm) sheet: 10 3/8 × 15 1/4 in. (26.35 × 38.74 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William D. Vogel M1965.70.46
Photo credit: Larry Sanders
Not Currently on View

In 1854, Commodore Matthew Perry reopened commerce between Japan and Europe. A flood of Japanese ukiyo-e prints reached France and greatly influenced the course of art history as artists as diverse as Manet, Monet, Gauguin, Van Gogh, and Toulouse-Latrec collected ukiyo-e prints and incorporated lessons of Japanese design into their paintings. Moreover, ukiyo-e prints by Hiroshige, Hokusai, Utamaro, and others inspired a revival in the medium of woodcut by French artists such as Henri Rivière and Paul Gauguin.

This woodcut by Hiroshige comes from a series of fifty-three prints detailing the Tokaido, the highway that ran along the coast of Japan and connected the ancient capital of Kyoto, where the emperor lived, with the city of Edo, the center of the powerful new government. The highway was punctuated by rest stations where travelers could get a meal and spend the night. Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido won Hiroshige fame and commercial success first in Japan and then in France; the series is hailed as a masterpiece for its lyrical compositions and sensitive handling of atmospheric effects.

Gallery Label, 2008

Publication History
Milwaukee Art Museum. Building a Masterpiece: Milwaukee Art Museum. New York: Hudson Hill Press, 2001, p. 53, color illus.

This information is subject to change as the result of ongoing research.