Title: HIROSHIGE EISEN: THE SIXTY-NINE STATIONS OF ...
Publisher: New York City, NY: George Braziller, 2008
Book Condition: As New
Dust Jacket Condition: As New
Edition: 1st Edition.
1st Printing. 160 pages. Published in 2008. Facsimile Edition of the finest surviving manuscript with accompanying text in English. One of the greatest books on Japanese art ever published in our time. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. A brilliant production by George Braziller: Oversize-volume format. Orange cloth boards with metallic-silver titles embossed on spine, as issued. Art by Hiroshige and Eisen. Text by Sebastian Izzard. Printed on pristine-white, thick uncoated stock paper to the highest standards. In pictorial DJ with titles on the cover and spine, as issued. Presents Hiroshige's and Eisen's "The Sixty-Nine Stations of The Kisokaido". One of the greatest sequences in the ukiyo-e tradition: A series of prints on the Kisokaido, the highway connecting Edo and Kyoto, and its 69 post stations, where travellers could admire the scenery, eat, shop, stay overnight, and be entertained. They capture the look and spirit of each station, creating a "tour de force of artistic vision and printmaking craftsmanship" (Sebastian Izzard). Hiroshige is now regarded as one of the two greatest wood-block printmakers (the other being Hokusai, his predecessor). Ukiyo-e, which literally means "pictures of the floating world", was the art of the common people. It was not folk or primitive art nor was it royal court art, either. Like the photograph today, it could be infinitely reproduced as public demand dictated, and typically presented Japanese life and rituals, scenery and the four seasons, iconic portraits, and breathtaking natural landscapes. Perhaps the best term for it is "artisanal", as it depended on the mastery of one's craft (rather than "concept" or "vision"). Very little is known about ukiyo-e precisely because it was not considered serious art, and most of the work was therefore not preserved or archived. That it flourished in the 18th and 19th centuries is pretty much what we know. Westerners were awed, moved, and for once, humbled by what they saw: Great art of the most exquisite and delicate kind, dazzling virtuosity melded to a master craftsman's innate apprehension of The Beautiful. Like all true art, it will transport you to another temporal reality, where you will wish you could stay forever. An absolute "must-have" title for Hiroshige, Eisen, and art book collectors. This title is an art book classic. This is one of very few copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and has no flaws, a pristine beauty. A scarce copy thus. 71 color plates. Two of the greatest artists of all time. A flawless copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER HIROSHIGE TITLE IN OUR CATALOG) ISBN 0807615935. Bookseller Inventory # 16862
Synopsis: Reproduced from the finest surviving edition of the original manuscript, this book offers an unforgettable portrait of daily life in 19th century Japan. Each plate teems with unique characters, from beggars and brawling men to boaters and finely clothed women; and the artists' gentle humor imbues them all with remarkable, human vitality. Behind the travelers loom castles, cities, powerful waterfalls and other sites familiar to lovers of Japanese history. Readers will travel from station to station through changing seasons, rural roads and city streets, on a journey that explores every stratum of a diverse society.
Commentary by art scholar and curator Sebastian Izzard, Ph.D. accompanies each image, offering new insights into the artists' processes, and into the survival of their work. Many of the wood blocks used in printing the original Sixty Nine Stations changed radically after the early editions, and Izzard addresses the protean nature of each image. His commentary details the manuscript's survival during the dramatic social shifts and economic hardship of Hiroshige and Eisen's time, urging an appreciation for its evolution over the years. The Sixty-Nine Stations of the Kisokaido tells the story of a landmark, immortal artists, and an enduring masterpiece. 71 color images.
About the Author: Sebastian Izzard received his Ph.D. from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University. After over twenty years' experience as an auction house specialist, appraiser and dealer in Japanese and Korean Art, he has served as head of the Japanese and Korean art division at Christie's New York, curated shows for the Ukiyo-e Society of America and the Japan Society, and received the Uchiyama Memorial Prize for advances in Japanese print studies. He currently lives in New York.
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