Katsushika Hokusai is not only the greatest painter from the Edo period, but also the most important Japanese painter of any era. An extremely prolific artist, it is estimated that he created more than 30,000 prints. In addition, he painted until the last day of his life, focusing on multitude of genres, from portraits to landscapes, and even works of an erotic nature. As a young man he worked in a bookshop and in a lending library, where he learned the art of ukiyo-e.
His magnum opus is the series of 36 views of Mount Fuji. These woodblock prints depicting Japan’s sacred mountain were enormously popular in their time, so Hokusai later added 10 more views to the series. In addition, years later, the artist began an even larger series, the "100 Views of Mount Fuji".
The series includes close-up views in which Mount Fuji is the only protagonist of the composition ("Red Fuji" or "Rainstorm Beneath the Summit"), distant views in which the artist can also represent the life and landscapes of the towns surrounding Mt. Fuji ("Tea house at Koishikawa" or "Watermill at Onden”) and even very distant views in which it is difficult to see the sacred mountain ("Below Meguro" or "Lake Suwa in Shinano Province”). The most famous work of the series, "The Great Wave off Kanagawa" was selected in 2006 as one of the 50 masterworks of painting by theartwolf.com.
Each and every one of the prints are genuine masterpieces with their own identity. Overall, the 36 views of Mount Fuji are one of the pinnacles of the landscape painting from any era. These prints were greatly admired by the Impressionists and Post-Impressionist painters, from Claude Monet to Vincent van Gogh.
Gabriel Fernández - theartwolf.com