At 89 years old, after creating some 30,000 works of art, Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) reported “If only Heaven will give me just another ten years… just another five years, then I could become a real painter.”
Son of a mirror maker and a concubine and one of the most famous painters and printmakers of the Edo Period in Japan, Hokusai is most known for his series, Thirty-six Views of Mt Fuji which includes The Great Wave off Kanagawa created during the 1820’s. Oberon Design reproduced his image on leather covers in 1997. We removed the fishermen in boats so that the image of Mt Fuji in the middle background low on the horizon would be more apparent.
Hokusai was known by at least thirty names during his lifetime, creating names for himself that identified with periods of art methodologies and styles he was employing at the time. His artistic styles, especially his print making, started an art craze in Europe called Japonism, part of the larger art movements such as Art Nouveau and Modernism. Artists directly influenced by Hokusai include Van Gogh, Monet, Renoir, Klimt, and Gauguin.
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