Evening Snow at Asukayama


Evening Snow at Asukayama
Print   (Part of the set: Edo Kinko Hakkei (1980s))


353.20 cm
25.70 cm


Print is Public Domain; Photography is:   Creative Commons License


Publisher's notes from the original pamphlet:

Purely as a composition, this is one of Hiroshige's most remarkable works, and there is much more to it than first meets the eye.

One of the most curious of the compositional devices is the use of the shaded contour of the bottom of the hill (against the path) as the main "hinge" for the design. This receives contrapuntal treatment in the drawing of the hill and the slope, in the general contours of the tree-tops, in the snow-laden huts at the right, and in the details (hats and umbrellas) of the figures passing along the path at the bottom of the print.

The basic color-scheme is a light grey shade, and the expanses of white, the accents of black, and the small color details were all apparently calculated against the basic light grey.

Like Kambara in the First Tokaido set, this composition has a rather cold feeling, and it is different from most of Hiroshige's other snow landscapes, which convey a warmer feeling.

The three kyoka poems are signed with pseudonyms. The first, by Kazentei Tomoyori, is a bold leap into poetic speculation and compares the snow scene with the long sleeves of the kimono of a dancing doll. The second poem, signed Bunin Gantantei, draws a simpler comparison of the falling snow to fallen feathers from flying birds. The third poem, by Taihaido himself, is a rather obscure speculation about discord among the pine-trees because of the heavy snow on Mt. Asuka.

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