Kiyochika 清親: Steam Train by Night--View of Ushimachi in Takanawa 高輪牛町朧月景 (Sold)

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Artist: Kobayashi Kiyochika 小林清親 (1847-1915)
Title: View of Ushimachi in Takanawa 高輪牛町朧月景
Date: 1879

“View of Takanawa Ushimachi under a Shrouded Moon”. Fascinating glimpse of Meiji “progress” barreling towards the viewer under darkness of night. The locomotive illustrated is an American design, rather than the English design which was imported at the time. There is a strong sense of alienation imparted in the scene, with  the silhouetted passengers seen in the windows appearing strange and almost phantom-like. This work was published a number of varying color schemes; in this example the flames emitting from the smokestack are a dramatic red and the pink glow of the kerosene headlamp also creates a strong contrast against the surrounding night. This work is discussed at length by Henry Smith in his book on the artist.

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition.
Dimensions: ôban (25.1 x 36.8 cm)
Publisher: Fukada Kumajirô
Literature: Illustrated and discussed in “Kiyochika: Artist of Meiji Japan” by Henry D. Smith II, figure 42, page 46. Francois Lachaud. Les Provinces de la nuit: quelques nocturnes de Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915). vol. 66 Paris. 186-187, 7. See the Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art online, SBMA, Minneapolis Institute of Art, FAMSF, British Museum.
Signature: Kobayashi Kiyochika