Sudden Shower over Shin-Ohashi Bridge and Atake (Ohashi Atake no yudachi)
From the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (Meisho Edo hyakkei)
Woodblock print
Signed Hiroshige ga
Censor's seal aratame
Published by Uoya Eikichi, 9th month 1857
Vertical oban: 36.8 x 24 cm. (1412 x 912 in.)
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Lot Essay

One of Hiroshige’s most iconic prints, figures crossing the Ohashi Bridge are taken surprise by a sudden downpour of rain. Hiroshige visited the subject of figures caught in a sudden rain shower throughout his landscape work, employing the consummate skill and line-work of the woodblock carver to cast an intricate network of fine incisions over the entirety of the composition. With dense black clouds formed in the evening sky, pedestrians on the bridge hurry off, huddled under their umbrellas or straw capes. In the river is a solitary oarsman cloaked in straw. The riverbank to the distance is obscured by the rainfall, with a row of storehouses to the left for the Shogun’s boats in the Atake neighbourhood and the Honjo district barely visible amidst the torrent.
Ohashi [lit. Great Bridge] referred to two bridges in the capital city of Edo: Ryogoku Bridge and Shin Ohashi Bridge, the latter the subject of this print. Constructed in 1694 over the Sumida River, the bridge connected Hamacho and the Momi Storage in Edo’s Fukagawa district.
Only thirty years after its publication, an impression of this design made its way into the collection of Vincent van Gogh, inspiring him to paint his 1887 oil and canvas version Bridge in the Rain (after Hiroshige), 1887, which is now in the van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. For the oil version by van Gogh, go to:
For the Ohashi Atake no yudachi print owned by van Gogh, go to:

The same print is in numerous museum collections, including:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The MET), New York, accession no. JP2522
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, accession no. 21.9466
The Honolulu Museum of Art, object no. 06445
The Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison, accession no. 1980.1632
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