The term ukiyo-e, literally “pictures of the floating world,” refers to a genre of Japanese artwork that flourished in the Edo period (1600–1868). As the phrase “floating world” suggests, with its roots in the ephemeral worldview of Buddhism, ukiyo-e captured the fleeting dynamics of contemporary urban life. While being accessible and catering to “common” tastes, the artistic and technical details of these prints show remarkable sophistication, their subjects ranging from portraits of courtesans and actors to classical literature. Katsushika Hokusai was an artist and woodblock printer who contributed greatly to bringing ukiyo-e landscape imagery to a pinnacle, along with his rival Utagawa Hiroshige. His landscapes were more imaginative than naturalistic, rendered with a dynamic personal style and highly skilled observation of the scenery. Forming part of his series Fugaku Sanjūrokkei (36 views of Mount Fuji), this image contrasts the stately mountain with a strong gust of wind that is blowing away the kaishi (paper used as handkerchiefs or to jot down poems) and hats of the struggling wayfarers.
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Type of Item
1 print : woodcut, color ; 25.2 x 37.1 centimeters
- From the series: Fugaku sanjū rokkei : 36 views of Mount Fuji.
Last updated: September 18, 2015