Oda Hironobu: Hodogaya in Snow (SOLD)

  • Sold.

Artist: Oda Hironobu (1888-?)
Title: View of Hodogaya in Snow
Date: ca. 1930s (1924 according to Smithsonian website)

Hodogaya is one of the 53 stations on the Tokaido Road, so we can’t look at this design without also seeing the designs made famous by Hiroshige in the 19th century. In addition to the Hiroshige-like title cartouche upper right, we see figures at right who wear straw raincoats, as well as a man who seems to be clearing snow, and to the left two pedestrians with bright yellow umbrellas. The cluster of cozy inns that line the road have the same pitched roofs as depicted by Hiroshige, and little seems changed from the previous century. What feels updated is the more naturalistic approach that the 20th-century printmakers ushered in, and here the carvers and printers have captured the feeling of a watercolor that the artist had envisioned. The publisher Maeba seems only to have worked with this artist in these rather scarce views that were done before the war. This work even has an edition number, verso, reading 56 out of 500. Not often seen are also the printer and the carver’s seals, lower right, so this must be from the first edition.

Condition:Excellent impression, color and condition.
Dimensions: ôban (26.2 x 39.2 cm)
Publisher: Maeba (sealed lower right)
Literature:  See the Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art for their Muller Collection example.

Seal: Bird-shaped Hiro artist's seal and printer and carver seals recto