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Ando Hiroshige was born in 1797 in Edo, Japan (now known a Tokyo). He was at first a fire warden, like his father, but was inspired by the art of his contemporary Katsushika Hokusai, and decided to become an artist. He apprenticed with Utagawa Toyohiro, a renowned painter, and took his teacher's name upon graduation, signing his work Utagawa Hiroshige.

He became a famous Ukiyo-e (popular) printmaker. It is in the three stages of his art's evolution that his history becomes as interesting as his art- the parallels with modern popular art are unmistakable. He began making prints of traditional subjects, such as young women and actors, and later won fame as a landscape artist. His masterpieces from this time include the print series Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido, Celebrated Places in Japan, and Sixty-nine Stations on the Kiso Highway.

In the later period of his life, he began to succumb to the demands of popularity: during his last years, his work became hurried and of lesser quality.

Ando Hiroshige died of cholera in 1858, in Edo. The total number of prints he created was near 5400.


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Above is an ASCii rendering (by BG_ASCII) of one of Hiroshige's prints. I believe it is of the Kameido Shrine. If this does not display correctly on your system or if you object to it being here in any way, please /msg me about it. Thanks you.

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