Utagawa Hiroshige I (1797-1858)
Kinyrūzan Temple, Asakusa (Asakusa Kinryūzan),
No. 99 from the series One Hundred Views of Edo (Meisho Edo hyakkei), 1856
Color woodblock print
13 15/16 x 9 1/8 inches (35.4 x 23.2 cm)
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Gift of
Mr. and Mrs. Lessing J. Rosenwald, 1959
Made to celebrate and commemorate his native city of Edo, Hiroshige depicted Kinyrūzan Temple (also known as Sensōji) at the start of the winter season. Dedicated to the bodhisattva of mercy, Kannon, the temple was established in 628 and is considered to be one of the most esteemed Buddhist temples of its age. Hiroshige’s exaggerated use of linear perspective shows visitors marching into the temple clutching snow-laden umbrellas. The viewer’s eye is drawn to the lantern hanging from a gate at the top right of the print; the composition emphasizes the starkness of winter in juxtaposition with the vibrant red of the temple.