Tokaido 53tsugi zu [Plates of the 53 Stations of the Tokaido].

SCHOOL OF HOKUSAI.,  (1860s].)


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An album of twelve mounted paintings, each measuring ca. 33x31cm, ink and colour on silk, the last inscribed 'Hokusai hitsu' with hanko seal. Orihon with elaborate brocade covers, early 19th century, some age-wear, minor browning and staining, but overall in good condition. Ms. label on top board giving title and stating artist as 'Katsushika Hokusai'. Preserved in Japanese modern wooden storage box. N.p., n. d. [but ca.

The present extraordinary album shows twelve scenes inspired by the 53 stations along the Tokaido. The artist has distilled the scenes into comical vignettes that show the essence of what a traveller might expect on the road from Tokyo to Kyoto. Artistically the Tokaido is more often associated with Hiroshige, but Hokusai did in fact produce several series on the subject (both in engraving and wood-block). One of Hokusai's best students Totoya Hokkei (1780-1850) published an illustrated book 'Comical chimes along the Stations of the Tokaido' (Kyoka Toukan Ekiro no Suzu) in 1830 in collaboration with Hokusai which was reprinted in Nagoya in 1835 under the title 'Hokusai's Album of Scenes along the Way' (Hokusai Dochu Gafu). Although our album does not entirely follow the layout of that publication, six of our paintings closely resemble scenes in the 'Dochu gafu'. A further two paintings were published in other books by Hokusai, namely the '100 Views of Mt. Fuji' and the 'Hokusai Manga' (vol. XI). The signature on the last plate 'Hokusai hitsu' together with a square seal in the form of a pictogram of Mt. Fuji was used by Hokusai between 1834 and 1846. (See chapter by Asano Shugo: 'Concerning the seals in Hokusai's paintings' (p. 128) in 'Hokusai and his Age - Ukiyo-e Painting, Printmaking and Book Illustration in Late Edo Japan', edited by John T. Carpenter (Amsterdam: Hotei Publishing, 2005).

Stock Code: 207298

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