…as the world stopped…rain washed time away…leaving pools of memories…
11″ x 15″ • 2020
This image is sketched from the Vincent van Gogh painting, “Bridge in the Rain”, 1887. It was inspired by a Hiroshige woodblock print that was in van Gogh’s private collection. This was his second painting of a Japanese print but he added his own frame of Kanji characters around Hiroshige’s image.
“Sudden shower over Shin-Ohashi Bridge and Atake” 1856 by Hiroshige from One Hundred famous views of Edo, Hiroshiges’s last great series. The entire series was vertically composed. The Sumada River flows under the bridge with Atake on the opposite bank.
Van Gogh collected 511 antique Japanese Woodblock Prints starting in Spring of 1887 to his final days in July of 1890. He surrounded himself with them. He loved the “ordinary prints” that were colored in flat tones. The majority of his collection was from the Hamburg-born art dealer Siegfried Bing. Bing began trading in Japanese art in 1878 at the time of the world’s fair in Paris where he opened three galleries focusing on Japan. van Gogh chose most of his collection from an attic above one of the galleries, which has said to have had “thousands” of Japanese Prints there. Monet was known to have frequented “Bing’s Attic” for the majority of his collection as well. Van Gogh acquired his “great quantities” at low prices from Bing, hoping to someday become a print dealer himself, but instead used them as “artistic examples” for his painting.
So. You are probably wondering what I have been up to during the Covid shutdown. Well, most may know that I have an extensive collection of antique Japanese Woodblock Prints numbering around 145. During the first of the year, I decided to “learn from the masters” by copying “the Great Wave” by Hokusai, just as van Gogh did during the later part of his life. To take this a step further, I have copied yet another master, Vincent van Gogh and his copy of Hiroshige’s “bridge in the rain”.
Obviously I am not stopping…I am going forward…with one of the most challenging prints that I have ever completed.