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Not currently on display at the V&A

Visiting a Temple at Dawn

Woodblock Print
1842 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This quietly atmospheric depiction of three courtesans on an early morning outing is one of the most successful of Hiroshige's uchiwa-e (rigid fan print) designs. Shades of grey softened by tonal grading known as bokashi provide a misty background to the strong geometric lines of the bridge and the solid forms of the three women. The colours of the sky and river are echoed in the blues and greys of the women's outer garments, subdued foils for the accents of red at hem, sleeve and collar, and for the bright red sash worn by the younger woman on the right. The breadth of the river and the masted cargo boats moored in the background suggest that we are standing at the west end of the Eitai Bridge looking towards Edo Bay and the Honjo Fukagawa district. The tea-house on the right with its large red paper lantern is called the Shiomi Chaya, literally 'Tide-viewing Tea-house', an appropriate name for an establishment near the mouth of the Sumida river. The kaicho, literally 'curtain-opening', of the print’s title in Japanese refers to the practice of shrines and temples revealing to the public on certain days of the year religious icons that were normally hidden from view or treasures borrowed from other religious establishments. In this case the three women are on their way to the Tomigaoka Hachiman Shrine, which lay a short distance across the river to the east. The characters below the date seal on the lower left read shinpan, meaning 'newly published'.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Colour print from woodblocks
Brief Description
Woodblock print, Utagawa Hiroshige I; 'Visiting a Temple at Dawn'; fan print, Japanese, 1842
Physical Description
Fan print, aiban size. Artist signature: Hiroshige ga. Publisher mark: Ibaya Kyubei. Date seal: Tiger (1842).
Dimensions
  • Approx. height: 220mm
  • Approx. width: 290mm
Style
Place Depicted
Summary
This quietly atmospheric depiction of three courtesans on an early morning outing is one of the most successful of Hiroshige's uchiwa-e (rigid fan print) designs. Shades of grey softened by tonal grading known as bokashi provide a misty background to the strong geometric lines of the bridge and the solid forms of the three women. The colours of the sky and river are echoed in the blues and greys of the women's outer garments, subdued foils for the accents of red at hem, sleeve and collar, and for the bright red sash worn by the younger woman on the right. The breadth of the river and the masted cargo boats moored in the background suggest that we are standing at the west end of the Eitai Bridge looking towards Edo Bay and the Honjo Fukagawa district. The tea-house on the right with its large red paper lantern is called the Shiomi Chaya, literally 'Tide-viewing Tea-house', an appropriate name for an establishment near the mouth of the Sumida river. The kaicho, literally 'curtain-opening', of the print’s title in Japanese refers to the practice of shrines and temples revealing to the public on certain days of the year religious icons that were normally hidden from view or treasures borrowed from other religious establishments. In this case the three women are on their way to the Tomigaoka Hachiman Shrine, which lay a short distance across the river to the east. The characters below the date seal on the lower left read shinpan, meaning 'newly published'.
Collection
Accession Number
E.538-1911

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record createdMarch 7, 2003
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