Thursday, 31 October 2013

Happy Birthday Hokusai

Happy birthday Katsushika Hokusai (born 31st October 1760) !

The Great Wave off Kanagawa - Hokusai - woodcut - c1829 - 32

Above is his most famous work, The Great Wave off Kanagawa. Isn't it just beautiful? To celebrate his birthday I thought I would share with you all 5 facts about Hokusai

  1. Over the course of his life Hokusai used over 30 different names (this was common with Japanese artists of this period but not to this extent!) 
  2. His work, and Japanese art in general, was hugely influential to the Impressionists. Many of these artists collected Hokusai's woodcuts including  Degas and Gauguin.
  3. Shortly before his death aged 89 he is quoted as saying "If heaven gives me ten more years, or an extension of even five years, I shall surely become a true artist." 
  4. The Great Wave off Kanagawa is part of a series called Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji in which Hokusai recorded mount Fuji in varying weather conditions, at different distances and in different seasons. The 36 woodcuts were printed in a publication of his work but were so popular that another 10 were later added.
  5. Hokusai's style changed many times throughout his artistic career and sometimes as frequently as from one painting to another.
The Dorothy Days

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