Lines and Colors art blog

Eye Candy for Today: Van Gogh’s painted copy of Hiroshige print

Bridge in the rain: after Hiroshige, Vincent van Gogh. Zoomable image on Google Art Project; downloadable file on Wikipedia; original is in the Van Gogh Museum.

Sudden shower over Shin-Ohashi bridge and Atake, Utagawa Hiroshige; file on Wikipedia.

About mid-way through his all too short career, Vincent van Gogh, like many of the French Impressionists he came to admire and associate with, developed a fascination with the Ukiyo-e Japanese woodblock prints that were becoming widely available in Europe at the time.

Van Gogh copied two prints by Utagawa Hiroshige directly as paintings, one of a Flowering Plum Tree (see my post on Not the Usual Van Goghs), and this one of Hiroshige’s now famous Sudden shower over Shin-Ōhashi bridge and Atake.

Van Gogh’s value relationships are quite different, and his painted version is of course very different in textural qualities, but the compositional elements, which appear to be his main fascination, appear quite true to the original.

Van Gogh created a painted frame as part of the image, decorated with characters from other Japanese prints.


3 responses to “Eye Candy for Today: Van Gogh’s painted copy of Hiroshige print”

  1. Great post.

  2. Dave Brasgalla Avatar
    Dave Brasgalla

    I was able to see this painting in person two days after you posted this, Charlie! What an amazing collection of work that museum has – so many fascinating lesser-known pieces of his that I was seeing for the first time… 🙂

    1. Wonderful. Thanks, Dave.