Also known as The Great Wave or simply The Wave, is a woodblock print by the Japanese ukiyo-e artist Hokusai. It was published sometime between 1829 and 1833 in the late Edo period as the first print in Hokusai's series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji. It is Hokusai's most famous work, and one of the most recognizable works of Japanese art in the world.
The image depicts an enormous wave threatening three boats off the coast of the town of Kanagawa (the present-day city of Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture) while Mount Fuji rises in the background. While sometimes assumed to be a tsunami, the wave is more likely to be a large rogue wave.
Original impressions of the print are in many Western collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the British Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, and in Claude Monet's home in Giverny, France, among many other collections.
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How Did Hokusai Create The Great Wave?
Ukiyo-e is the name for Japanese woodblock prints made during the Edo Period. Ukiyo-e, which originated as a Buddhist term, means "floating world" and refers to the impermanence of the world. The earliest prints were made in only black and white, but later, as is evident from Hokusai’s work, additional colors were added. A separate block of wood was used for each color. Each print is made with a final overlay of black line, which helps to break up the flat colors.
For more info check out this superb video of Japanese artist Takuji Hamanaka inside his Brooklyn studio to explain why he adopted a centuries-old technique to create contemporary woodblock prints.
Did you know Hokusai's 'Great Wave' is in included in 'A' Level Art Curriculum?
Need help with your Art assignment? Check out PSB's excellent video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1ufFlXIWjA
An iconic image that has inspired music, tattoos, and even an emoji on your phone.
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