THE GREAT WAVE OFF KANAGAWA by Hokusai
The Great Wave off Kanagawa, 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 1830 and 1833 in the late Edo period as the first print in Hokusai’s series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (富嶽三十六景 Fugaku sanjūrokkei?). It is Hokusai’s most famous work, and one of the best recognized works of Japanese art in the world. It depicts an enormous wave threatening boats off the coast of the prefecture of Kanagawa. While sometimes assumed to be a tsunami, the wave is, as the picture’s title suggests, more likely to be a large rogue wave. As in all the prints in the series, it depicts the area around Mount Fuji under particular conditions, and the mountain itself appears in the background.
Impressions of the print are in many Western collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the British Museum in London, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, and in Claude Monet’s house in Giverny, France, among many other collections.
Hokusai created the “Thirty-Six Views” both as a response to a domestic travel boom and as part of a personal obsession with Mount Fuji. It was this series, specifically The Great Wave print and Fine Wind, Clear Morning, that secured Hokusai’s fame both in Japan and overseas. As historian Richard Lane concludes, “Indeed, if there is one work that made Hokusai’s name, both in Japan and abroad, it must be this monumental print-series…”. While Hokusai’s work prior to this series is certainly important, it was not until this series that he gained broad recognition. Source:Wikipedia