Japan art and Katsushika Hokusai: Eclectic mix

Japan art and Katsushika Hokusai: Eclectic mix

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) is internationally famous. Thus artistic galleries highlighting his art are major attractions irrespective of the continent. Therefore, a nice eclectic mix of art by Hokusai was chosen for this article – from Mount Fuji to an intriguing lady. 

Hokusai focused on a plethora of art themes throughout his lifetime. Hence, he depicted the beauty of nature, erotic art themes, Mount Fuji, dramatic ghosts, and a plethora of other artistic themes. 

The British Museum says, “Hokusai’s ambition was to create images of universal appeal, imbued with powerful life force, encompassing the whole range of subjects in worlds both real and imagined. By his death aged 90, he had over 3,000 colour prints, nearly 1,000 surviving paintings, several hundred illustrated books and hundreds of drawings to his name.”

Mount Fuji was also a special life force for Hokusai. The economic angle naturally existed concerning the importance of this exalted mountain. However, Hokusai also developed inspiration, passion, and strength from this iconic mountain – which meant the world to him.

Concerning the art piece above, the MET Museum says, “The breathtaking composition of this woodblock print, said to have inspired Debussy’s La Mer (The Sea) and Rilke’s Der Berg (The Mountain), ensures its reputation as an icon of world art. Hokusai cleverly played with perspective to make Japan’s grandest mountain appear as a small triangular mound within the hollow of the cresting wave.”

Hokusai – sensing that death was near – reportedly said, “If only Heaven will give me just another ten years … Just another five more years, then I could become a real painter.”

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