Eight Views of Omi: Autumn Moon at Ishiyama

Artist: Utagawa Hiroshige 歌川広重 (1797-1858)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, ca. 1834-35
Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
H x W (overall): 24.5 x 37.5 cm (9 5/8 x 14 3/4 in)
Credit Line
The Anne van Biema Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Woodblock print

Anne van Biema collection, autumn, bridge, Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, moon, oban, poems, temple, ukiyo-e, WWII-era provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable

In contrast to his lively designs for his series, Fifty-three Stations along the Tokaido (Tokaido gojvsantsugi), published in the early 1830s, the landscapes of Hiroshige's Eight Views of Omi are serene and lyrical, in keeping with their poetic inspiration. The printing in this series features carefully controlled gradations of color that convey effects such as, in this print, the light of the full moon on the monochromatic nocturnal scene of mountains and lake. The Buddhist temple, Ishiyamadera, is barely visible in this rendering. The poem appears to the left of the title in a square cartouche that is decorated like the elegant papers for Japanese calligraphy. It reads:

the moonlight
that shines on the Bay of Niho
is none other than that
at both Suma and Akashi!

Suma was the place of Prince Genji's exile in The Tale of Genji, and Ishiyamadera, according to legend, was the site where the court lady Murasaki Shikibu wrote The Tale of Genji.

Translation of poem by Joshua S. Mostow

Published References
  • Ann Yonemura, with contributions by et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 118, pp. 290-291.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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