Saturday, January 12, 2008


In my opinion, almost no one uses line to move the eye around the page better than Hiroshige, master of the Japanese woodblock print known as Ukiyo-e (pictures of the floating world). His landscapes are amazing to me, because they have a great sense of depth (Hiroshige incorporated western techniques of perspective) and still have a wonderfully stylized, particularly Japanese character. And his COLORS ... along with Monet he seemed to be able to capture an amazing sense of time of day and mood. "The Dyers' Street in Kanda," the picture to the right, is a perfect example of this. The colors are the perfect early-morning tones, the sense of perspective is strongly developed using both variation in tone and one point perspective, and the sinuous organic line of the cloth is perfectly contrasted with the squared-off, man-made lines of the hangers. The long bits of cloth on the right draw your eye down the page, and the ones on the left draw it back up to Mt. Fuji.

I'm in good company listing Hiroshige as one of my influences - Van Gogh and Monet did as well.

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