Lot 788
  • 788

Katsushika Hokusai, (1760-1849), 1830-2

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  • Katsushika Hokusai
  • `Gaifu Kaisei' (Fine wind, clear weather), also known as `Aka Fuji' (Red Fuji) from the series `Fugaku sanjurokkei' (Thirty-six views of Mt. Fuji) 
  • oban, 25.6 by 38cm., 10 1/16 by 15in.
the cone suffused with red above the pines of the lower slopes, as if lit by sunrise, against barred white clouds in the sky, signed Hokusai aratame Iitsu hitsu

Together with the `Great Wave' (lot 790) and the `Sudden Shower Below the Summit' (lot 789), this is one of the trio of outstanding masterpieces in this series, as well as being one of the greatest of all colour-print landscapes conceived in east or west.


Illustrated: Hillier 1976, no.714; Japan 1976, no.589; other impressions: V & I 1913, no.244, pl.LXXV; Ledoux 1951, no.16; TNM, vol.3, no.3769; NHBZ, no.7; Narazaki 1966, pl.82; Kondo/Terry, no.33; Royal Academy, no.12; Hokusai ten 2005, pl.nos.219, 291 & 292 

Catalogue Note

The publication of Fugaku Sanjurokkei can be dated to 1830-2 because of an advertisement placed by the publisher Eijudo in the back of the book Shohon-jidate `Kabuki Tales' which appeared at New Year, 1831.  As translated by the late Mr Richard Lane in his Hokusai, 1989, it reads:
The Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji / By Venerable Iitsu, formerly called Hokusai / single sheet prints, in aizuri technique / scene on each sheet, now in the process of publication / these pictures show Fuji's in each of its different locations and shapes / for example, its form at Shichiri Beach, or its aspect as seen from Tsukuda Island / - all, in their infinite variety, for the edification of those who would master the art of landscape painting / thus, if engraving proceeds apace, the result will likely exceed a hundred scenes / - not just limited to thirty-six

While only nine of the Fuji series are strictly blue prints, the early impressions of the first thirty-six of the eventual forty-six designs of the set were printed with blue outlines, as in this example.  The supplementary ten prints, making the total forty-six, are printed with the black key block as in the later editions of the first thirty-six.