Hokusai Katsushika, The Origin of Scrolls, One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji


Artist: Katsushika Hokusai (1760 - 1849)
Title: The Origin of Scrolls
Series: 100 Views of Mt Fuji volume 2
Publisher: Toheki-do Eirakuya Toshiro
Date: 1835-1880
Size: 22.2 x 15.5 cm

Original Japanese woodblock print.

This print is from the series One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji, published between 1835 and 1880. Hokusai evidently had a deep connection to the mountain, which had become a place of worship and pilgrimage for ascetic Buddhists and Shinto sects alike. The series followed Hokusai’s successful colour prints of Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji. Though in absence of colour, the One Hundred Views series displays Hokusai's unique composition, sometimes challenging the viewer to spot the playfully concealed peak of Mount Fuji.

A man points outside the window at a view of a snowcapped Mt. Fuji. The title suggests that the view inspires in them the design of a new scroll. In this print, Hokusai plays with the landscape genre, minimising a vista that would conventionally dominate the whole print. The result is that instead of the viewer marvelling at the landscape, the viewer focuses on the two men in the print appreciating the scenery from their window.

More Information
Print Format Other
Artist Name Hokusai Katsushika
Title The Origin of Scrolls
Subject Landscapes
Dimensions 22.2 x 15.5 cm
Condition Report Binding holes along right side of page. Smudging on bottom right corner of page.
Series One Hundred Views of Mt Fuji, Volume 2

Hokusai Katsushika

Katsushika Hokusai is considered to be one of the greatest artists not only by Japanese people, but by the entire art world. In the late 18th century, while prints of beautiful women (bijinga) and prints of actors (yakusha-e) were popular in the ukiyo-e world, Hokusai developed a new field in ukiyo-e, landscapes. He devoted almost all of his 90 years of life to drawing and painting. Never satisfied with one technique or mastering one style of drawing, he always sought to improve as an artist. In the mid-1810s, following his trip to the Kansai area, the first volume of Hokusai Manga was published. This series of sketchbooks consists of 15 volumes in total, covering a wide variety of subjects and is often referred to as a series of instructional drawing manuals intended to serve as a kind of textbooks for those who wanted to become artists.

In the early 1820s, Hokusai started working on the series “Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji” (Fugaku Sanjurokkei), which was finally published in 1830. It is certainly his most famous body of work and is often considered his best. The series actually consists of 46 images, including the “Great Wave at Kanagawa” (Kanagawa oki Namiura), “Fine Wind, Clear Weather” (Gaifu Kaisei) and “Rain Storm beneath the Summit” (Sanka Hakuu), which are known worldwide and are thought to have influenced French impressionists. His other famous series “Journeys to the Waterfalls in All Provinces” (Shokoku Taki Meguri) also appeared around this time period. In the mid-1830s, his illustrated book “One Hundred Views of Mt. Fuji” was published. Filled with depictions of the mountain in often dynamic compositions, this book, alongside “Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji”, established Hokusai as the ‘Mt. Fuji artist’.

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