Hokusai, master of the print 北斎

  • Published on : 26/04/2019
  • by : J.R.
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La Grande Vague de Kanagawa, l'une des "Trente-six vues du Mont Fuji", du peintre japonais Katsushika Hokusai

The Great Wave off Kanagawa, one of "Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji", by Japanese painter Katsushika Hokusai


The master of Japanese prints

Katsushika Hokusai, born in 1760 and died in 1849, is a major artist in the history of Japanese art. His prints are famous throughout the world and he is thus an essential cultural figure in Japan.

Hokusai and ukiyo-e


Hokusai was both a painter and a draftsman. Ukiyo-e is not a technique but a movement, which integrates both paintings and above all printmaking.

This term meaning " image of the floating world ", transcribes the favorite subjects of ukiyo-e: ephemeral scenes of the living world, but also everyday life.

This term illustrates both the notion of Buddhist impermanence, as well as the carelessness of a changing society.

Gohyaku-rakanji Sazaido. Print n°7 from the Thirty-six views of Mount Fuji series

Gohyaku-rakanji Sazaidō. Print No. 7 from the Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji series

Library of Congress

Sumo hokusai

Hokusai, Sumo wrestlers in the Manga collection

Wikimedia Commons

The 36 views of Mount Fuji


Hokusai's most famous works are undoubtedly from the series of prints "Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji" (1831-33), from which the famous "Great Wave off Kanagawa" is taken. The western perspective is introduced in these prints representing Mount Fuji, 46 in number (and not 36!).

Hokusai uses Prussian blue, a pigment imported from Holland, highly prized by artists because it lasts over time. The landscapes in this series combine Japanese traditions and European influences.

L'orage sous le sommet du Mont Fuji

The storm below the summit of Mount Fuji

Library of Congress

Kōshū Kajikazawa. Série des Trente-six vues du Mont Fuji

Kōshū Kajikazawa. Series of Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji



Higashi Honganji Temple in Asakusa. Thirty-six Views of Edo (1830-1833) by Hokusai


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