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The History of Traditional Asian Art Painting

Page 3 - The Legend of Hokusai


Katsushika Hokusai

(October or November 1760–May 10, 1849) was a Japanese artist, ukiyo-e painter and printmaker of the Edo period. In his time, he was Japan's leading expert on Chinese painting. Born in Edo (now Tokyo), Hokusai is best-known as author of the woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji , Fugaku Sanjroku-kei, c. 1831) which includes the iconic and internationally recognized print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, created during the 1820s.

The Great Wave

Self Portrait - Hokusai

    Self Portait as an old man



Hokusai created the "Thirty-Six Views" both as a response to a domestic travel boom and as part of a personal obsession with Mount Fuji.

It was this series, specifically The Great Wave print and Fuji in Clear Weather, that secured Hokusai’s fame both within Japan and overseas.

As historian Richard Lane concludes, "Indeed, if there is one work that made Hokusai's name, both in Japan and abroad, it must be this monumental print-series...".

email the artist

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