(1760-1849). Also known as Katsushika Hokusai. Edo period Japanese artist, painter, wood engraver and ukiyo-e maker. Born in Edo (now Tokyo). Author of the 13-volume sketchbook Hokusai manga (begun in 1814) and the woodblock prints "Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji," (created around 1823-1829), which includes "In the Hollow of a Wave off the Coast at Kanagawa," perhaps his most recognized work. The scene is of a great wave about to devour the men and boats, with the distant Mount Fuji minimized by the size of the wave. He is considered one of the outstanding figures of the ukiyo-e, or "pictures of the floating world" (transient pleasure-seeking, i.e., the world of theaters, restaurants, teahouses, courtesans and geishas), school of printmaking. Hokusai is also renowned for his erotic prints in shunga style. In fact many of the prints of both Hokusai and Sharaku were actually advertisements for brothel houses and theaters, performances or idol portraits of actors and teahouse girls. His Fukujusō, a series of twelve prints celebrating the glory of flesh and passion, is considered one of the three greatest shunga works. His art was an important source of inspiration for many European impressionists like Claude Monet. Both he and Hiroshige have had an enormous impact on landscape painting worldwide. (from Wikipedia)
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