Fifth Month (Gogatsu)

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Utagawa Hiroshige

Fifth Month, from the series 'Famous Places in Edo at the Five Festivals'
Print, woodblock

Donated by Mrs A.P. Mathewson, 1914
Museum number 1914-178-42

Ando (Utagawa) Hiroshige was one of a small number of artists who dominated nineteenth century printmaking in Japan. Known for his bold compositional style and intricately detailed portraits of the landscape and people of his time, his works influenced many Western artists such as Cezanne, Van Gogh and particularly Whistler.

He produced many series of prints, celebrating the landmarks and culture of Edo. Five seasonal festivals, known as the sekku, were made official holidays during the Tokugawa period. This print depicts a woman standing in a pleasure boat during the Duanwu Jié, or Dragon Boat Festival, which took place in May. The small vignette in the upper left corner shows a wider view of the scene with the red boats disappearing under a bridge.

Fifth Month (Gogatsu)
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