HOKUSAI KATSUSHIKA, Fuji from the sea called the great wave, Kaijo no Fuji

HOKUSAI KATSUSHIKA, Fuji from the sea called the great wave, Kaijo no Fuji

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Series : One Hundred Views of Fuji, Fugaku Hyakkei.

Technique: nishikie, woodcuts in three shades of gray.

Format: hanshinbon koban diptych (about 183 × 253 mm)

Signatures : Zen Hokusai Iitsu aratame Gakyorojin Manji

Seal of the artist : Fuji no Yama

Dates : 1834- 1st album, 1835- 2nd album, 1836- 3rd album.

Engravers: Egawa Tomekichi and Tsentaro

Publishers: Nishimura Yuzo, Eirakuya Toshiro.

Superb proof with excellent contrasts, in a rare first edition printed in three shades of gray. Imprinted on Japanese paper between 1834 and 1836. In exceptional condition, with uncut margins all around beyond the marginal line.



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Pietro Gobbi. Signatures seals coats of arms philology of Ukiyo-e , Turin, 1989.

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Salamon Villa T., The hundred views of Fuji, Turin, 1975.

Smith II H. Hokusai: one hundred view of Fuji by Hokusai, London, 1988.



One of the great masterpieces of Japanese art.

The legend tells that on windy days, when the waves rise high and swollen, it can happen that a violent gust takes hold of the crest of a wave, detaches it from the dark mass and throws it into the sky, transforming it into a foam lace.

Before falling back into the valley that awaits it, the ridge seems to stop for an instant, to remain motionless in the void. In that moment out of time, tiny bubbles hover in space, rise and plunge, and there they are transformed into a flock of chidori, little plovers born from the ocean and the wind.

The eye of the Japanese spectator is used to looking from right to left, so the gaze accompanies the foam generated by the overturning of the waves, up to the flight of the plovers. Nothing is depicted that is not in motion, even the pines that rise over the last ridge quiver in the wind. A whirling ellipse, with a protruding crest, at the rush of a new wave, a hypnotic whirlwind that grabs the viewer leaving him finally surprised: here, the only fixed point, the Fuji.

The table recalls the famous engraving Kanagawa oki namiura the wave at the Kanagawa coast, the Great Wave of the series of Thirty-six views of Fuji.

Several times Hokusai painted this legend, a metaphor for his research, from Great Wave cited to those, almost "protohistoric", in two series of western landscapes : Kanagawa oki Honmoku no zu , view of Honmoku near Kanazawa (1803 ca.) and Oshiokuri hato tsusen no zu , transport boats in the midst of the waves (1805 ca.) but no other image, possesses the same suggestion, the philosophical-religious breath, the architectural layout, the vastness of pictorial conception.