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Snowy Landscape

Ando Hiroshige, Snowy Landscape, c. 1840
Tinted woodcut
Gift of Professor Charles W. Brown

In honor of winter storm Juno—which unleashed 19.1 inches of snow on the city of Providence—the Bell Gallery is pleased to share a beautiful, bucolic image of winter in Ando Hiroshige’s Snowy Landscape.

Ando Hiroshige (also known as Utagawa Hiroshige, 1797-1858) was a Japanese artist of the Edo period. This woodblock print, in the ukiyo-e style, is somewhat atypical of the period; instead of the scenes and portraits of kabuki actors and women of pleasure (and leisure) that ordinarily populated ukiyo-e prints, Snowy Landscape depicts a scene of romantic serenity. In fact, Hiroshige is largely known for his scenic imagery, with human figures occasionally inhabiting but not dominating the frame. Hiroshige is said to have been heavily influenced by Hokusai, an Edo artist whose bold natural scenes brought him enormous popularity in the West; both artists inspired the growing trend of Japonisme in the nineteenth century.

— Reya Sehgal, Curatorial Assistant

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Ian Alden Russell, Curator, David Winton Bell Gallery

Albrecht Dürer “The Beast with Two Horns Like a Lamb” from The Apocalypse (1498), Woodcut. (PR 0.334)

On one of my first days as the new curator of the David Winton Bell Gallery, it was a wonderful serendipity to be hanging a print from one of the earliest printed books “The Beast with Two Horns Like a Lamb” by Albrecht Dürer. As part of our fall lobby exhibition “Selections from the Permanent Collection,” the woodcut is is one of fifteen which comprised “The Apocalypse”, a book published in 1498, two years before the dawning of a new century. Ripe with anxieties of impending times to come, Dürer’s images convey a tense forboding in 15th and 16th century life as much as they probably induced it – they were some of the first widely circulated representations of the end of days.

This woodcut depicts Revelation 13:

(1) Then I saw a beast come up from the sea with ten horns and seven heads, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the names of blasphemy… (11) And then I saw another beast coming out of the ground, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. (13) And he prompted great portents, even that fire pour down from the sky to the earth for all men to see. (14) And I looked, and beheld a white cloud, and sitting upon the cloud one who was like the Son of Man, wearing upon his head a crown of gold, and in his hands a sharp sickle. (17) And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he is also having a sharp sickle.

Here is an introductory reading of the image of Dürer’s “The Beast with Two Horns Like a Lamb” by the Clark Art Institute. More information from their recent exhibition “The Strange World of Albrecht Dürer” can be found here: http://www.clarkart.edu/exhibitions/durer/content/exhibition.cfm

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