Hiroshige was born in 1797 to a samurai family in Edo (modern Tokyo). After his parents died, around the age of fourteen, Hiroshige began to take up painting and studied for several years under the artist Toyohiro. During this period he produced many works reflecting traditional ukiyo-e themes such as women and actors, but upon Toyohiro’s death in 1928 he underwent a pronounced shift toward the landscapes for which he is best known today, as well as bird and flower images. His most famous series include Famous Views of the Eastern Capital (1831), The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō (1833–1834), The Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaidō (1834–1842) and Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (1852–1858).
In 1856, around the age of 60, Hiroshige “retired from the world”, becoming a Buddhist monk. Two years later he passed away (during the great Edo cholera epidemic, though it’s not known if this was the cause of death) and was buried in a Zen temple in Asakusa. Just before his passing, he wrote the following poem:
I leave my brush in the East
And set forth on my journey.
I shall see the famous places in the Western Land.
Across his lifetime Hiroshige is thought to have produced a colossal 8000 prints. In this post we’ve gathered just a few highlights, from the fairly expansive collection housed at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and all of which are available to buy as high-quality prints in our online shop.