Thursday, January 14, 2016

Hokusai and Hiroshige

Hokusai, the Japanese artist, is perhaps best known for his series of studies of Mount Fuji which he completed toward the end of his life. The glacier-capped ancient volcano is something of a spiritual icon to the people of Japan, ever present, ever changing with the seasons, magnificent in its connection between the heavens and earth. Hokusai's art visually communicates that mystery and beauty.

Some years back, I was given a calendar with images of the work of Hokusai, including a famous image of a wave. I also lucked upon a book of postcards with images of the works of Hiroshige, another noted Japanese artist of the 1800s, and thus became familiar and enamoured with his work: People in colorful garb of eras past, walking in the night on wooden shoes through snow; a turtle on a bridge-post; cranes in flight and boats with sails.

A cultural, natural, and historical legacy was so clearly documented through the art - mostly woodblock prints - of these two men. Forgive me if this post contains any errors - I've sometimes confused the two artists, would love the opportunity to learn more. What an adventure it would be to study their lives and works.

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