c.1830. Woodblock print, 25,7 x 37,9 cm.
New York, Metropolitan Museum.
Image from www.metmuseum.org
Hokusai is one of the leading artists of the Ukiyo-e genre, a genius with an almost obsessive fascination with Mount Fuji, as can be seen in his greatest masterpiece, the woodblock print series of "Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji"
Japanese painters and engravers have always offered a different, almost mystical vision of natural phenomena. In this work, the wave is much more than a mere oceanic disturbance. It is a monster, a giant leviathan threatening with its fangs the agile and audacious ships crossing, flexible, the Japanese Sea. The terrible ocean's claw looks so powerful that it seems to threaten to devour even the sacred Mount Fuji, presented at the background as another victim of the evil wave.
Text: G. Fernández, www.theartwolf.com