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.
Takamizawa's "36 Views of Fuji" release - In the early and mid 20th century, with the increase in Western visitors to Japan and the interest in the Edo era woodblock print tradition, some of the best publishing houses began to release high quality ukiyo-e of scenery and portrait prints from the Edo era. It was during this time that the Takamizawa Publisher, the finest reprint publisher of the era, began work on their production of Hokusai's 36 Views of Fuji.
Drawing on the traditions and methods of the Edo era, Takamizawa’s carvers carefully cut new blocks and printed prints replicating Edo era colors on beautiful handmade paper. Takamizawa's 36 Fuji prints were released to great acclaim. Some of the most popular subjects, such as Red Fuji and the Great Wave, have become highly sought after.
Takamizawa's 36 Fuji prints are arguably the finest reprints of Hokusai's series ever done. Today, many collector’s seek out this series specifically. Each Takamizawa print features the Takamizawa seal on reverse.
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.
Artist - Hokusai (1760 - 1849)
Image Size - 9 7/8" x 14 7/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Please see photos for details. Nice overall.