The Great Wave

Woodblock Print
ca. 1831 (made)
The Great Wave thumbnail 1
The Great Wave thumbnail 2
+1
images
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) is perhaps Japan's most famous artist. He is best known for his designs for prints and printed books, although later in life he focussed increasingly on paintings.

This print is from Hokusai's ground-breaking series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, the first to exist exclusively of large-format prints of landscapes. It also made plentiful use of Prussian blue, a pigment which had only recently been introduced to Japan and was both expensive and rare.

This print is the most celebrated of the series, and indeed of all Japanese prints. In it, Mount Fuji is pictured through the hollow of a giant wave which threatens to engulf the boats below. The chaos of the scene at sea contrasts with the stately serenity of Fuji in the background.
alt tag here
read Japanese woodblock prints (ukiyo-e) Produced in their many thousands and hugely popular during the Edo period (1615 – 1868), these colourful woodblock prints, known as ukiyo-e, depicted scenes from everyday Japan.
object details
Categories
Object Type
Additional Titles
  • Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (series title)
  • In the Hollow of a Wave off the Coast at Kanagawa (assigned by artist)
  • Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji
Materials and Techniques
Colour print from wood blocks, on paper
Brief Description
Colour print from wood blocks, In the Hollow of a Wave off the Coast at Kanagawa, from the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, by Katsushika Hokusai, circa 1831
Physical Description
Colour print from wood blocks by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) from the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji. In the hollow of a wave off the coast at Kanagawa (Kanagawa oki nami ura). Often referred to as "The Great Wave".
Dimensions
  • Width: 372mm
  • Height: 259mm
Styles
Credit line
Gift of the Misses Alexander
Subject depicted
Summary
Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) is perhaps Japan's most famous artist. He is best known for his designs for prints and printed books, although later in life he focussed increasingly on paintings.



This print is from Hokusai's ground-breaking series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, the first to exist exclusively of large-format prints of landscapes. It also made plentiful use of Prussian blue, a pigment which had only recently been introduced to Japan and was both expensive and rare.



This print is the most celebrated of the series, and indeed of all Japanese prints. In it, Mount Fuji is pictured through the hollow of a giant wave which threatens to engulf the boats below. The chaos of the scene at sea contrasts with the stately serenity of Fuji in the background.
Collection
Accession Number
E.4823-1916

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdJanuary 17, 2003
Record URL