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The Great Wave of Kanawaga, Japan

The energetic and imposing picture The Great Wave is one of the greatest Japanese woodblock printmakers, painters and book illustrators. The Great Wave was created around 1831 as part of a series of woodblock prints called Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji.

The most eye-catching feature of the painting is the extended wave as it is about to break with the crash of its claw-like crest. The beautiful dark blue pigment used by Hokusai, called Prussian Blue, was a new material at the time, imported from England through China. The wave is about to strike the boats as if it were an enormous monster, one which seems to symbolise the irresistible force of nature and the weakness of human beings.

Best of Japan

 

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