Hiroshige, 100 Views of Edo
294 pages; Taschen
Delicate in the extreme, the art of ukiyo-e—"pictures of the floating, fleeting world"—was wildly popular among both Japanese and European artists in the 19th century. When they painted moonlit water beneath a wooden bridge, or sun-dappled idlers in a Parisian park, Whistler, Monet, and other Impressionists were dipping their brushes in the sensibilities of artists like Utagawa Hiroshige, whose classic 1856-58 series of woodblock prints is now available in a lush, oversize edition. With pages as soft as petals and magnificently suffused with color, Hiroshige: One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (Taschen) reveals the cultural, natural, social, and political life of a legendary city (now called Tokyo), rendered by a master's unerring hand.