Ando Utagawa Hiroshige II

Japan / 1826 - 1869 / wikipedia
Hiroshige II (Ni-daime Utagawa Hiroshige, 1826 - 17 Sept. 1869); Japanese designer of ukiyo-e art. He inherited the name Hiroshige II following the death in 1858 of his master Hiroshige, whose daughter he married. In 1865 he moved from Edo to Yokohama in 1865 after dissolving his marriage and began using the name Kisai Risshō (alternate pronunciation: Ryūshō). His work so resembles that of his master that scholars have often confused them.

Born Suzuki Chinpei in 1826, it is said that he was born to a fireman, as was his master Hiroshige to whom he became apprenticed under the name Shigenobu at an unknown age. His earliest known work is the illustrations for a book called Twenty-four Paragons of Japan and China from 1849.

Hiroshige II produced a large number of commissioned work in the 1850s in the style of the elder Hiroshige, and often signed his work Ichiryūsai mon ("student of Ichiryūsai", another art name of Hiroshige I's), and from c. 1853 to 1858 simply as Ichiryūsai. In 1858, he married Hiroshige I's daughter Otatsu after the master's death and inherited the Hiroshige name, as well as the names Ichiryūsai and Ryūsai.

After moving from Edo to Yokohama he produced a number of collaborative print series, particularly with Kunisada, who had earlier worked with Hiroshige I. In his final years he turned mainly to decorating works intended for export, such as tea chests, kites, and lanterns. On 17 Sept. 1869 he died at 44.

Hiroshige I took on few students; Hiroshige II was the most successful of these. His works have often been confounded with those of his master, which they resemble closely in style, subject, and signature. Early Western scholars did not even recognize him as a separate artist.

Another pupil of the first Hiroshige, Shigemasa, later married the master's daughter, Otatsu, and also began using the name Hiroshige; this artist now is known as Hiroshige III.
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Martha Schulman


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japanese print triptych