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Friday, July 18, 2014

Kobayashi Kiyochika at Freer: Sumida River by Night, 1881

Kobayashi Kiyochika: Sumida River by Night, 1881
woodblock print; ink and color on paper
Robert O. Muller Collection
Kiyochika: Master of the Night, exhibition at Freer Gallery of Art
no copyright infringement intended

Kiyochika (1847 - 1915) was the last important ukiyo-e master and the first noteworthy print artist of modern Japan... [or, perhaps] an anachronistic survival from an earlier age, a minor hero whose best efforts to adapt ukiyo-e to the new world of Meiji Japan were not quite enough (wiki)

On September 3, 1868, the city called Edo ceased to exist. Renamed Tokyo (“Eastern Capital”) by Japan’s new rulers, the city became the primary experiment in a national drive toward modernization. Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847–1915), a minor retainer of the recently deposed shogun, followed his master into exile. When he returned to his birthplace in 1874, Kiyochika found Tokyo filled with railroads, steamships, gaslights, telegraph lines, and large brick buildings—never-before-seen entities that were now ingrained in the cityscape (Kiyochika: Master of the Night)

(Smithsonian Castle)



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