Utagawa Hiroshige (Japanese, 1797–1858), a member of Japan’s samurai class, lived and died in Edo (renamed Tokyo in 1868). He inherited his father’s official post as a fire warden while still in his teens, though he simultaneously apprenticed as aukiyo-e
artist. By the 1830s he had come into his artistic maturity, depicting landscapes, birds and flowers, and scenes of daily life. At that time, Japan was opening to the West after centuries of seclusion, and his prints, showcasing the tranquil Japanese countryside, became popular the world over. Hiroshige was one of the last great masters of traditional Japanese woodblock printmaking, and his magnum opus, the print series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo
ranks among the greatest achievements of Japanese art.