Lot 737
  • 737

KATSUSHIKA HOKUSAI (1760-1849) 'UNDER THE GREAT WAVE OFF KANAGAWA', FROM THE SERIES THIRTY-SIX VIEWS OF MOUNT FUJI, ca. 1831

Estimate
400,000 - 600,000 HKD
Sold
3,820,000 HKD
bidding is closed

Description

  • paper
  • oban: 25.7 x 36.9 cm, 10 1/8  by 14 1/2  in.
titled Kanagawa-oki nami ura, Fugaku sanjūrokkei, signed Hokusai aratame Iitsu hitsu, publisher Nishimura Yohachi. Good impression, colours a little toned and faded (red sky and yellow boats), some soiling, flattened central fold.

Literature

Hillier 1976, no. 707; Japan 1976, no. 590; other impressions: Ledoux 1951, no. 21; Hillier 1955, no. 21; UTS, vol. 15, no. 1; NHBZ, no. 8; Royal Academy, no. 11; Hokusai ten, p. 195, pl. nos. 293 & 294.

Catalogue Note

This is one of the most iconic images of modern art and the most famous print of Hokusai. The ingenuity of the composition, depicting a huge wave about to crash down upon frail boats beneath while the cresting foam on top of the wave wraps around Mount Fuji has been very influential on generations of artists both in the East and the West. The energy it conveys echoes similar approaches to render the 'sublime' of nature in 19th century European artistic movements. A smaller wave surging in the forefront mirrors the shape of Mount Fuji, a recurrent feature in the series. This is a fine and early impression of this great design, with blue contours, the outline of the pink clouds still showing in the sky when these have often disappeared from most impressions of the print.
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