Originally created as a Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock printing, “the Great Wave of Kanagawa” is a study of contrasts between thundering waves and the small but mighty Mt. Fuji. Artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) often used the mystical mountain as a centerpiece in his art. In a novel interpretation of a traditional theme, Mt. Fuji’s significance and power is hardly minimized by its diminished size.
Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760 – 1849) was a master of Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock printing. His monumental series done in Ukiyo-e, meaning “pictures of the floating world,” was “Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji,” which included the famous “The Great Wave Off Kanagawa.” Between 1796 and 1820 he created approximately 30,000 book illustrations and color prints, and produced his most important works after age 60, often depicting Mount Fuji as an spiritually significant symbol. Impressionists, including Monet, Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec, enthusiastically embraced Hokusai’s work.