Lake Suwa in Shinano Province, from the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji
Color woodblock print on paper
Image: 10 1/4 x 15 1/16 in. (26 x 38.2 cm) (show scale)
Censor's seal: kiwame (極). Publisher: Nishimuraya Yohachi (Eijudō).
Saki no Hokusai Iitsu hitsu (前北斎為一筆)
Gift of Frederic B. Pratt
A view across a lake toward Mt. Fuji, here printed in all blue inks (a type of print called aizuri-e or "blue picture"). This image exists in full color elsewhere.
In his 1991 catalogue on Hokusai, Matthi Forrer writes of this print, " Beneath two pines, a thatched hut stands on a promontory above Lake Suwa in present-day Nagano Prefecture. Mount Fuji can be seen in the distance behind Takashima Castle, which belonged to the Suwa daimyo, or feudal lord. Except for some mist on the horizon, it is a clear day with a sheer blue sky. On the lake, one of the fisherman in the boat is hauling in a large net.
Here Hokusai has created a sense of depth in what is otherwise a traditional Japanese landscape by placing the pine trees and hut conspicuoulsy in the foreground. Other than this, apart from printing some areas in a darker tone, little has been done to suggest distance. Only three shades of blue have, in fact, been used.
As in all later impressions of the designs originally issued in an aizuri-e edition, various colours were subsequently introduced. Mount Fuji and the trees in the foreground and on the more distant hills were printed in shades of green, with yellow used for the timber walls of the hut and for the branches of some trees, while the sky was printed in blue at the top and in an orange-red below, thus setting the scene in the early evening. In still later impressions the blue outlines were replaced by a black line-block."
Definitive catalogue no. : Vignier-Inada 251
Remarks: very rare with blue.
This item is not on view
Katsushika Hokusai (Japanese, 1760-1849). Lake Suwa in Shinano Province, from the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, ca. 1830-1831. Color woodblock print on paper, Image: 10 1/4 x 15 1/16 in. (26 x 38.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Frederic B. Pratt, 42.79 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 42.79_PS4.jpg)
overall, 42.79_PS4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
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Who's the artist responsible for the Great Wave?
Great question! It is Katsushika Hokusai, a real master of Japanese woodblock prints! "The Great Wave" was part of a series Hokusai created called "Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji." Another print from that series is on view on the 1st floor in Infinite Blue!