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
- 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!)
- 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.
- 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."
- 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.
- Hokusai's style changed many times throughout his artistic career and sometimes as frequently as from one painting to another.
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