Hiroshige: an exceptional collection of prints presented at the Guimet Museum
The fan, a Japanese treasure
For the first time in France, the Guimet museum is bringing together a unique collection of prints by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) designed to decorate fans. Fans were common consumer items and were most often thrown away, making them very rare. From the Georges Leskowicz collection, one of the finest collections of Japanese prints, these works of art were made between the 1830s and 1850s. They are among the most elaborate of the artist's work, one of the last great Japanese artists of the Edo period (1603-1868). These fan leaves reveal the graphic inventiveness and great diversity of Hiroshige's work.
Journey into 19th century Japan
Hiroshige's reputation is based on his landscape prints. The exhibition presents a fascinating collection: snowy landscapes, picturesque scenes of spas such as Okone, urban views, restaurants and the pleasure district enchant the visitor's eye.
More unexpectedly, the exhibition presents sublime female portraits highlighted by an elegant and clever scenography. Whether depicted alone in close-up or in groups, women are often associated with famous sites, but also with religious festivals or fashionable games such as the famous firefly hunt.
From the famous sites of Edo city and the landscapes of Japanese provinces, to the subtle compositions of flowers and birds, historical scenes, literary or parodic images, it is the whole of Japanese society as Hiroshige lived it that is revealed along our journey. The imagination comes out exalted.
Exhibition dates :
February 15 to May 29, 2023
Christophe Marquet, director of studies at the École française d'Extrême-Orient
For more information :