Hokusai, Katsushika; designer; Japanese printmaker, 1760-1849
Colour print from woodblocks, koban. c.1833. Signed: zen Hokusai aratame Iitsu ga. Publisher's seal: Akamutsuya Shotaro
given; 1955; Elderton, William Palin, Sir
From the series Edo hakkei (Eight views of Edo) published by Akamatsuya Shotaro, c.1833. This series of eight koban format prints was published by Akamatsuya Shotaro, c.1833, during the publication of the Thirty-six views of Mount Fuji. In theme and in the use of borders, it recalls two early small-format print series - one of eight Edo views, the other eight views of Omi - which Hokusai designed c.1800-05 in imitation of the style of Dutch etchings. However, the style here, a more balanced synthesis of Western influence with Japanese tradition, is closer to two sets of 'newly-published perspective pictures' of Edo and Omi. The borders are a much more elaborate and decorative development of the borders in the earlier sets which imitated Western frames. The titles relate to the eight traditional views of Lake Biwa in the Province of Omi, believed to have been chosen by the former Regent Konoe in 1500 in imitation of the Chinese series 'Eight views on the Hsiao and Hsiang Rivers'. Other districts later acquired their own hakkei (eight views), and the theme was also parodied in prints by applying the titles to other locations. The locations in this set differ slightly from other Edo hakkei by Hokusai. Ryogoku Bridge was one of the liveliest places in Edo, with theatres, side-shows, archery-galleries, firework-displays and other entertainments clustered at either end. This print shows it crowded even in deepest winter. Snow-scenes were rare in Hokusai’s work.
Object Number: P.261-1955
(Paintings, Drawings and Prints)
(record id: 182689; input: 2011-03-29; modified: 2017-01-03)