Hiroshige and the fan

From February 15 to May 29, 2023.

Exhibition presented in the rotunda on the 2nd floor of the museum Asian arts – Guimet

The Guimet Museum presents for the first time in France a unique set of prints by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) intended to adorn fans. Made between the 1830s and 1850s, they are among the rarest and most elaborate of the work of the artist, one of the last great image makers in Japan of the Edo period. These fan leaves reveal the graphic inventiveness and the
diversity of his work, from the famous sites of the city of Edo and the landscapes of Japanese provinces, to the subtle compositions of flowers and birds, passing through female portraits, historical, literary scenes or parodic images .

A seasonal and ephemeral accessory, the flat bamboo fan (uchiwa) became popular in Japan during the Edo period (1603-1868) and became one of the mediums for expressing the creativity of the masters of the pictorial school. japanese ukiyo-e. First sold during the summer by peddlers or in temporary stalls on the occasion of festivals, the fans of Edo were offered from the end of the 18th century on the front of merchants of prints and illustrated books. , when they began to be signed by famous artists. Disposable objects, these fans have mostly disappeared; the prints that have come down to us, uncut and in their first printing, are those that were never mounted on their frame, preserved by print publishers or collectors. Many of these works are now unique or kept in very rare copies around the world.

Hiroshige made more than six hundred and fifty prints intended to adorn this everyday accessory. The exhibition presented on the 2nd floor of the Guimet Museum invites you to discover the great graphic creativity as well as the favorite themes of the artist, through a selection of some ninety works, among the most beautiful of the Georges Leskowicz Collection. , the largest private collection of Hiroshige fan leaves.


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