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Katsushika Hokusai, Shichiri-ga-hama [Beach] in Suruga Province (Sōshū Shichiri-ga-hama), a colour woodblock print

 

Height: 244.000 mm
Width: 364.000 mm

Gift of Sir Hickman Bacon, Bt

Asia JA 1907.5-31.0144

    Katsushika Hokusai, Shichiri-ga-hama [Beach] in Suruga Province (Sōshū Shichiri-ga-hama), a colour woodblock print

    Japan, AD 1830-33

    From the series 'Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji' (Fugaku sanjū-rokkei)

    'Drawn by Old-Man Itsu, the former Hokusai
    Printed in blue, one view on each sheet, published progressively.

    These pictures show the shape of Fuji as it differs depending on the place. It is not always drawn the same - now the shape as seen from the beach at Shichiri-ga-hama: or the view as seen from Tsukuda Island - and will be of assistance to those learning [to paint] landscapes. If carved progressively, they should even exceed one hundred. They are not limited to thirty-six.'
    Printed advertisment, New Year 1831

    A series devoted solely to landscape was a novelty in Japanese art. The major factor in establishing pure landscape as a new genre of Ukiyo-e print was probably the sudden availability in the later 1820s of cheap Berlin blue. This strong, brilliant pigment could be used for water and sky, and would not fade.

    This print belongs to what is thought to be the first group of five designs in the series, done originally entirely in shades of Berlin blue. Shichiri-ga-hama, 'Seven-League' Beach, lies in the foreground with Mt Fuji seen past the island of Enoshima in the middle-ground. Cumulonimbus clouds rise on the horizon, suggesting summer storms, and yet Fuji is well covered with snow.

    T. Clark, 100 views of Mount Fuji (London, The British Museum Press, 2001)

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