Kiyochika 清親 : Night Market at Asakusa 浅草夜見世 (Sold)

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Artist: Kobayashi Kiyochika 小林清親 (1847-1915)
Title: Night Market at Asakusa 浅草夜見世
Date: 1881

Night Market at Asakusa (Asakusa yomise). Rare design showing an evening market at Sensôji Temple. The scene is would be familiar even today, with commerce pressing in at every turn near the famous temple. This view shows the area at the end of the shop-lined approach to the temple known as Nakamise. Silhouetted figures look almost phantomlike in the foreground, with the lit up faces of the customers that face us at left brightening the scene. The lights may be powered by acetylene, as the faces of the shoppers seem so bright and the sparkling glow of the light is so emphasized. The overhanging trees and the presence of the unlit and huge Niomon (Gate of Two Kings) in the background add even more ambiance. Kiyochika’s haunting night views of a rapidly modernizing Tokyo are justly famous and are considered some of his finest designs. As James Ulak from the Smithsonian noted for their 2014 exhibition of this series: “Often silhouetted, Kiyochika’s figures are at once together and alone—observers, rather than actors, in an oddly quiet landscape.”

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition.
Dimensions: ôban horizontal 23.1 x 34.4 cm
Publisher: Fukada Kumajirô
Literature: Shown in “Kiyochika: Artist of Meiji Japan” by Henry D. Smith II, page 42, plate 36. Also pictured in “Kiyochika and Yasuji”, (2012), number 135. See Honolulu, BM, Smithsonian for examples.
Signature: Kobayashi Kiyochika