Hokusai’s View of Delft

Or is it The Hague? From the rather typical buildings in Hokusai’s scheme of Western perspective that he includes in his Hokusai manga volume 3 of 1815, it is quite obvious that his original inspiration was some European optical print. From the 1730s, the Dutch introduced such prints, produced in London (most by Robert Sayer,…

Hokusai’s Great Wave off Kanagawa – Hokusai and Aizurie Part V

Summarizing the conclusions reached in the four preceding parts, we can give a date of 1830 or Tenpō 1 (天保元年) to the so far identified subjects of Nihonbashi (日本橋), Ōji (王子), Sumidagawa (隅田川), Fukagawa (深川), Shibaura (芝浦), Ōhashi (大橋), Mimeguri (三園), Ueno no hana (上野花), and Yanaka (谷中), all picture envelopes, efūto (繪封筒), measuring 191 x 51…

Hokusai’s Great Wave off Kanagawa – Hokusai and Aizurie Part IV

In the foregoing parts we have been investigating four series or groups of prints, two of them comprised of aizurie prints exclusively and two other groups with only a part printed as aizurie. In these four groups, we found three different phrasings of Hokusai’s signature, as follows: Hokusai aratame Iitsu (Hokusai changing his name to…

Hokusai’s Great Wave off Kanagawa – Hokusai and Aizurie Part III

As far as I know, there are only three more examples of aizuri prints by Hokusai that need to be considered, and then we can try and see whether we can reach a conclusion on our original question: What is the date of the so-called Great Wave? This time we will focus on a group…

Hokusai’s Great Wave off Kanagawa – Hokusai and Aizurie Part II

As for prints in various tones of blue exclusively, so-called aizurie, a series of probably ten prints issued by the publisher Moriya Jihei is probably the best example. It was issued without any series or print titles, and was comprised of figures, landscapes, and subjects from nature. They are small format koban prints, roughly measuring…

Hokusai’s Wave off Kanagawa – Hokusai and Aizurie – Part I

Quite surprisingly, we can still find various datings for one of the world’s most iconic images, the Great Wave as it is popularly called, actually titled In the Hollow of the Wave off Kanagawa (Kanagawa oki namiura), one of the prints in Hokusai’s series of Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (Fugaku sanjūrokkei). Hokusai, Kanagawa oki namiura…