Andō Hiroshige
Twilight at the Meguro Drum Bridge
1857, 4th month

Signed: Hiroshige ga; Publisher’s seal: Shitaya Uo’ei (Uoya Eikichi); censor’s seal: aratame; ōban, 34.3 x 22.2 cm; nishiki-e with fukibokashi

Print 111 from “One Hundred Views of Famous Places in Edo”. The structure of the “Drum Bridge” was obviously based on Chinese prototypes, since arched stone bridges were relatively rare in Japan; in Edo, which was under tremendous threat from earthquakes, they must have seemed even more “out of place”. Hiroshige’s diagonal perspective evokes a feeling of loneliness – big snowflakes fall from a darkening sky, and the few people who are out seem to disappear under their snow-covered straw hats and umbrellas.

Sotheby’s London, Dec. 1963
Riese Collection #177

The earliest impressions of this beautiful snow scene have a four-colour cartouche with two tones of red and two of green, darker in the upper left and lower right-hand corners. Later impressions have a three-colour cartouche, two tones of red and one of purple, darker in the upper right and lower left-hand corners. The earliest impressions are printed with a light grey sky with a very distinct pattern of woodgrain, with black overprinting reaching down nearly to the bottom of the colour cartouche. These impressions also have a warm brown printed on the side of the bridge, and grey overprinting on the little island with two trees sticking out on the right into the river. Impressions like the Riese impression, with a dark blue-grey sky and no brown on the side of the bridge are pleasant, but later.

Reproduced in: Ingelheim catalogue, no. 140.