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
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Description

  • paper
titled Kanagawa-oki nami ura, Fugaku sanjÅ«rokkei, 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.

Condition

Good impression, colours a little toned and faded as expected (red sky and yellow boats), yet remaining rather fresh overall. Some soiling and flattened central fold. There are two small repaired holes to the lower right corner.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

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.