Hokusai and the Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji - In Japan, Mt. Fuji is a sacred place and a symbol of the country itself. Rising majestically near the center of Japan, Fuji dominates the landscape and the Japanese national identity. At the age of sixty-nine, the great Hokusai began what would become the most famous landscape print series of ukiyo-e, his incredible Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji.
Originally intended to comprise thirty-six prints, the publisher added an additional ten images, bringing the series total to forty-six woodblocks. Originally published around 1830, Hokusai's bold compositions capture the strength, beauty, and symbolism of Mt. Fuji in rain and snow, at sunrise and dusk, and from a variety of vantage points. The series includes some of Hokusai's greatest masterpieces. These fantastic images portray the strength and majesty of nature, leading the viewer to contemplate man's place in relation to the natural world. A truly magnificent series, Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji justly remains Hokusai's most famous and highly regarded work.
View of the Mitsui Stores at Surugacho in Edo - Terrific depiction of Mt. Fuji in winter, with kites flying high in the sky on New Year's Day. The impressive buildings of the Echigoya Mitsui Clothing Store frame the view in the foreground, with workmen repairing the tiled roof at right, one tossing a straw bundle down to a waiting man with his arms outstretched. The Mitsui sign at lower left reads "Braided Cords and Threads," while the sign at right announces "Clothing," and both advertise the store's cash payment policy, a new business practice at the time rather than billing the customer once or twice yearly. The buildings are beautifully detailed, creating a nice contrast with the simple form of the mountain in the distance. A lovely design with attractive color and fine bokashi shading in the sky.
Woodblock reprints - In the 20th century, artists and publishers collaborated to recreate famous woodblock prints for interested Japanese collectors and Westerners looking for rare designs. New blocks were made, and the prints were painstakingly printed by artisan printers in the same method as the 19th century originals - one block for each color. Woodblock reprints were an opportunity to collect and enjoy a famous design at a small fraction of the price of an original. They still are today.
Artist - Hokusai (1760 - 1849)
Image Size - 10" x 15 1/8" + margins as shown
Condition - With excellent color and detail. Please see photos for details.