In 1887 van Gogh's admiration for Japanese art forms led him to paint copies of two famous designs of Hiroshige, the great Japanese landscape printmaker. Van Gogh: "I envy the Japanese artists for the incredible neat clarity which all their works have. It is never boring and you never get the impression that they work in a hurry. It is as simple as breathing; they draw a figure with a couple of strokes with such an unfailing easiness as if it were as easy as buttoning one's waist-coat."
Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando) (Japanese, 1797-1858). Takinogawa, Oji, No. 88 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 4th month of 1856. Woodblock print, Sheet: 14 3/16 x 9 1/4 in. (36 x 23.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Anna Ferris, 30.1478.88 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 30.1478.88_PS1.jpg)