Nine years after its first showing in Italy, the exhibition “Visions from Japan” dedicated to the Japanese painter and printmaker Utagawa Hiroshige known as Hiroshige returns to Rome at Le Scuderie del Quirinale.
With a selection of more than 230 works belonging to the most prestigious collections from Italy, Japan and the United States, the exhibition is an immersion in the theme of nature as exemplified by the charming and refined style of Hiroshige: from the “One Hundred Views of Edo” and “The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido”, to the polychrome woodcuts of insects, animals and flowers and the still intact original designs.
Illustrious pupil of Utagawa Toyohiro, Hiroshige had a considerable influence on European painting and especially on Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Vincent van Gogh’s passion for the landscape prints by Hiroshige was such that the Dutch master faithfully copied several of them reproducing their themes and styles.
Together with Hokusai, he is considered one of the leading Japanese landscape artists of the 19th century, and among the most famous representatives of the then current artistic Ukiyo-E style. Hiroshige’s artistic production features several genres, including prints of actors, warriors and courtesans, but the main focus of his art was nature in its myriad of forms.
The contemplation of nature and its subsequent representation in morphologically harmonic tones is what distinguishes Hiroshige from the other painters and printmakers of his time, initiating a dialectic between the finite and the infinite, a sense of human sentiment welling from the almost religious participation in Nature and the immensity of the cosmos. Throughout his life Hiroshige created almost 4000 designs. Hiroshige’s most famous series is “One Hundred Views of Edo”.
“Visions from Japan” is a unique opportunity to get to know and admire an artist who, because of his extraordinary ability to contemplate and express nature in its most harmonious aspects, even when engulfed in snowstorms or surrounded by sea eddies, still today conveys the sense of an intense capacity for a religious affinity that intertwines the sensitivities of man to the breadth of the cosmos, drawing together the infinitesimally small and the boundlessly immense.
In collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the sponsorship of the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan and the Embassy of Japan in Italy, the exhibition will be held at the Scuderie del Quirinale from March 1st to July 29th, 2018.