Signature: Gaky?jin Hokusai-ga, (cartouche upper right, Forrer n. 6, XXVI)
Mm 125x180 misure del foglio
Series: Fifty-three Stations of the T?kaid?, 58 sheets, 1804.
Fine impression, colour and condition, without poetry text.
For one impression with poetry see: Roger Keyes ‘The art of Surimono: Privatly published Japanese woodblock prints and books' in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, vol. I, pag.206, n. 178, inv. n. 1000.
The Poeme is by Banzaitei ‘Haru no umi taira uotsuru amaobune e ni kakeru koso okitsu shioyama’ :’The calm spring sea with little fishing boats’, 'I can paint them in a picture of the island off the coast of Okitsu'.
This small and charming still life of a 'Fish and two shells' at first glance resembles a Surimono and yet it does not in the strictest sense belong in that category. It' s printed by Hokusai with the care and refinement so typical of Surimono, which were privately commissioned and distributed prints rather than being handled by a publisher for the market; luxury items using rare paper and precious metals.
Our print reflects Hokusai's particular sensitivity by his use of the small format, the quality of the impression and the presence of the text by the poet Banzaitei at the top left (see the impression in the 'Chester Beatty Library', accession n. 1000). in Dublin.
For a similar impression, see the collection of the Honolulu Museum of Art (link) or the Museum of Fine Arts of Boston (link2).
Literature: Matthi Forrer’Hokusai: a guide of the serial graphics’, the Heron press, Philadelphia-London, 1974, pag. 65, n.16 , serie 81.
Katsushika Hokusai, dominated the scene of the art of the Japanese print (Ukiyo-e) in the field of book illustration, drawing and painting. He was born in the Honjo district of Edo. His passion for art began at an early age; he was adopted by an illustrious family of artisans who introduced him to wood engraving. This influenced his career and at the age of 18 he entered at the studio of Katsukawa Shunsho (1726-1793), who specialised in prints depicting the popular Kabuki theatre. Under the pseudonym of Shunro, around the 1780s, he got to know artists like Shigemasa (1739-1820) and Kiyonaga (1752-1815) who influenced his drawing of figures. Around 1790 he produced his first important prints which he signed Kako. He also produced fine Surimono. In 1797 he married and took the name Hokusai, becoming one of the foremost illustrators and artists of Japan. Among his most famous work are the ehon, books of images, as the 15 albums of drawings entitled Manga. The most celebrated of his prints series is The thirty-six views of Mount Fuji, early thirties. Amongst his many pupils: Shinsai, Hokuju, Hokuba, Hokkei, Shigenobu.
Around 1790 he produced his first important prints which he signed “Kako”. He also produced fine Surimono. In 1797 he married and took the name Hokusai, becoming one of the foremost illustrators and artists of Japanese prints. Among his most famous work are the “ehon”, books of images of Edo, circa 1800; 15 albums of drawings entitled “Manga”, circa 1814; the prints series “The thirty-six views of Mount Fuji” circa 1830 and the three volumes “One hundred views of Fuji”, circa 1834-35.
Amongst his pupils were Shinsai, Hokuju, Hokuba, Hokkei, Shigenobu