Saturday, November 12, 2011


The Great Wave Off Kanagawa (Japan)
c. 1829–32
color woodblock print
25.7 cm × 37.8 cm (10.1 in × 14.9 in)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Ukiyo-e art (woodblock print), The Great Wave off Kanagawa was published sometime between 1829 and 1833 (during the Edo Period). This particular woodblock is one of the most recognized works of Japanese art in the world. It depicts an enormous wave threatening boats. This woodblock prints 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, and in Claude Monet's house in Giverny, France.

Hokusai was born in 1760 as a son of a mirror maker to the shōgun and started painting at six.  He died at the age of 89, in 1849 and some years before his death he is reported to have stated:
"At the age of five years I had the habit of sketching things. At the age of fifty I had produced a large number of pictures, but for all that, none of them had any merit until the age of seventy. At seventy-three finally I learned something about the true nature of things, birds, animals, insects, fish, the grasses and the trees. So at the age of eighty years I will have made some progress, at ninety I will have penetrated the deepest significance of things, at a hundred I will make real wonders and at a hundred and ten, every point, every line, will have a life of its own."