Kiyochika 清親: Fireworks at Shinobazu Pond in Ikenohata 池の端花火 (Sold)

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Artist: Kobayashi Kiyochika 清親 (1847-1915)
Title: Fireworks at Shinobazu Pond Fireworks at Shinobazu Pond in Ikenohata 池の端花火
Date: 1881

Two boys climb a willow tree for a better glimpse of the fireworks bursting over Shinobazu Pond in Ueno on a summer evening. In the foreground we see an orderly row of silhouetted figures, their backs to the viewer, and two of them hatted in a western fashion. A row of lights shine in the middle distance, probably lanterns strung along the periphery of the pond, which is located in the Ikenohata disctrict of northeastern Tokyo. At right we can see the outlines of Benten Shrine, which has since been rebuilt and may be seen there even today. Evening scenes of a rapidly modernizing Tokyo are a specialty of Kiyochika, who has been given the moniker “Master of Night”. Note that these scenes of Tokyo were published with color schemes that can be quite variable from print to print.

Condition: Very good impression, color and condition. Discoloration and area of thinned paper at upper right margin. Lower left corner with small repair.
Dimensions: ôban horizontal 24.4 x 34.8 cm
Publisher: Fukada Komajirô
Literature: See Henry Smith II “Kiyochika: Artist of Meiji Japan”, figure 31, page 39. See also “Japan at the Dawn of the Modern Age” by Virgin et al.,figure 7, page 18. See Honolulu and MFA websites as well. See also Met Museum. Tokichi Sakai, Kiyochika, The Japan Association for the Preservation of Ukiyo-e, translation by N.S. Gankow, 1969, no. 70; Kiyochika, Goyo, Shinsui hanga ten: Meiji, Taisho no ukiyo-e shi, Seibu Hyakkaten, 1976, no. 9; Exhibition of Kobayashi Kiyochika, Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art, 1998, p. 40, no. 39; Hideki Kikkawa, Kobayashi Kiyochika: Studies in Light and Shadow of the Westernization of Japan, Seigensha Art Publishing, 2015, p. 52, no. 71; Kobayashi Kiyochika: A Retrospective, Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts, 2016, p. 62, no. 84.
Signature: Gakô Kobayashi Kiyochika (in left margin)