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The Great Wave off Kanagawa (MET, New York)

The Great Wave off Kanagawa


This is the most famous work of the Japanese artist Hokusai. This artwork is the first in Hokusai''s series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji. We can view a landscape with three elements: the sea whipped up by a storm, three boats and a mountain. In the top of the composition there is the author''s signature.
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  •  02-01-2016
  •  20' 
  • Version : 2 
  •  Caesar 
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This is the most famous work of the Japanese artist Hokusai. This woodblock print is an example of ukiyo-e art, it was published sometime between 1830 and 1833, during the Edo Period. This art work is the first in Hokusai's series Thirty-six Views of Mount...


We can see three oshiokuri-bune. These are fast boats that are used to transport live fish from the near peninsulas to the markets of the bay of Edo. As the name of the piece indicates the boats are in Kanagawa prefecture, with Tokyo to the north, Mount...

The mount

The mountain that is seen at the bottom is Mount Fuji, with a snowcapped peak. Fuji is the central figure in the meisho-e work. Thirty six views of Mount Fuji, which give a portrait of the mountain seen from various angles. In Japan Mount Fuji is...

The Sea and the Waves

The sea is the most important element of the composition, that is taken up by an extending wave about to break, which dominates the entire scene. In the moment captured in this image the wave forms a circle whose center is in the center of the design,...


Hokusai's signature. The Great Wave off Kanagawa has two inscriptions. The first, the title of the series and is written on the upper-left side inside a rectangular box, where it's written: Thirty six views of Mount Fuji, offshore from Kanagawa, Beneath...


The circumstances of the artist's life were difficult. Being in his 60s, in 1826 he was suffering serious financial problems, in 1827 it seems he had a major health problem, possibly a stroke. The next year his wife passed away and in 1829 he had to...
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