31.1.11

Hiroshige

Not only is Ando Hiroshige a hugely important artist in his own right, but he is also to be reckoned with in terms of the influence that he and his fellow Japanese woodblock printers exerted over late 19th Century Western art & design: Hiroshige combines ideograms and imagery in his prints, often through a usage of boxes and rules as hierarchical aids. And it is this mastery over typographic hierarchies combined with complex imagery that was so ingeniously adapted to Western typographic systems by the likes of Alphonse Mucha, creating the typographic style of Art Nouveau. 

There are many resources showing Hiroshige's output online, but sometimes the most obvious place to look can also turn out to be the best one ;-). Although the images on wikipedia are much larger than what can be found there, nonetheless the richest image repository that I have come across has been put together in England and can be accessed from here:

I am linking the following images from the publication entitled "Famous Restaurants of the Eastern Capital" (1852/53), since these provide really good examples to Hiroshige's typographic mastery. Needless to say, this is only the very tip of the huge iceberg of what Hiroshige has to offer.



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