歌川広重 Utagawa Hiroshige（1797-1858）
五十三次名所图会 四十三 桑名 七里渡船
Kuwana, from the series of Upright Tokaido
木版画 | 纵绘大判 | 36cm x 25cm
Woodblock-print | Oban tate-e | 36cm x 25cm
Travellers along the Tokaido from Edo to Kyoto had many water crossings, often fording them by foot. But not the one at Kuwana, the 43rd town or "station" along the route. This was the longest -- 17 miles. You could only cross via ferry. In this design from the Upright Tokaido, Hiroshige shows us a big blowy day, with the ferry's sail full, and the stately form of Kuwana Castle looming in the distance. The lines up to the mast and sail are strung taut by the force of the wind. Travellers are probably enjoying a break from all that walking -- at least, their feet are. Soon they will be back on dry land and back on their feet -- but Kyoto is drawing ever closer.
The "Upright Tokaido" was one of Hiroshige's first ventures into using the vertical oban-tat-e format for landscapes. Here he emphasises the height of his image with the mast of the ferry. This is an early impression, with strong colors and unusually full margins. There is one tiny worm hole (good luck finding it!)
Fine condition; strong colour; one very small wormhole