“Night snow at Kanbara”, Hiroshige postcard reproduction, c. 1940.

1940sArts & Culture
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“Night snow at Kanbara”, Hiroshige ukiyo-e postcard reproduction, c. 1940.

“The mountainous landscape of Kanbara [Station 16 of the Tokaido] is immersed in the snow while fresh snow continues falling.

“… The only colours in the image are worn by the three people. We have an almost physical sensation of the silence emanating from the scene, from the cold serenity of the landscape immersed in the evening light. It seems as though time has stopped. The houses too, their roofs blanketed in white, appear to belong to another world, to a fairy-tale dimension.

“Two stooping figures move slowly uphill, two patches of barely accentuated colour. But our attention goes to the third person, standing still, leaning on a walking stick under a half-closed umbrella, enrapt in the enchanted radiance of the snow. He has stopped. Before the unreal beauty of the snow-covered landscape and the reality of the hushed silence that amplifies the perception of solitude, he feels compelled to stop and listen and discern a more deeply enduring splendour within himself.”

Hiroshige: The Master of Nature, by Gian Carlo Calza, 2009

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