The Sketchbooks of Hiroshige

with introduction and commentaries by Sherman E. Lee. Braziller, $45.00. In 1905 Crosby Stuart Noyes, the editor and publisher of the Washington Star, presented a collection of Japanese “pictures, engravings, illustrated books, etc.” to the Library of Congress, recommending the works for (among other merits) “subtle fineness of touch contrasted with bold directness of method,” a description of Japanese brushwork that could hardly be bettered. The collection included two albums of drawings attributed to the great Ando Hiroshige (1797—1858), and it is mildly surprising that these delightfully fluid and expressive sketches of landscapes, legendary’ characters, and just plain people have never before been published in their entirety. They are, happily, now available—two volumes, boxed, accordionpaged in proper Japanese fashion, and accompanied by a tersely useful essay and notes.
—Phoebe-Lou Adams