The Bridge in the Rain (after Hiroshige), 1887
Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
The Bridge in the Rain illustrates Van Gogh’s interest in Japanese art. He painted this scene after a woodcut by Utagawa Hiroshige, which he had in his own collection. The borders are filled with calligraphic figures borrowed from other Japanese prints. Van Gogh made two other paintings in the same fashion: The Courtesan (after Eisen) and Flowering Plum Tree, after another print by Hiroshige. One distinction with regard to the originals is the use of color: Van Gogh used different, brighter colors, or enhanced the color contrasts.
The influence of Japanese prints remains visible in Van Gogh’s later works, especially in his strong outlines and color contrasts, and in the way he cropped his compositions.