Description of the painting
Realism (Life in Japan in the 18th and 19th centuries)
« Since the age of six, I had the mania for drawing the shapes of objects. About the age of fifty, I published an infinity of drawings; But I am unhappy with all that I have produced before the age of seventy. It was at the age of seventy-three that I understood roughly the form and true nature of birds, fishes, plants, & c. Therefore, at the age of eighty, I shall have made a great deal of progress, I shall arrive at the bottom of things; At a hundred, I shall definitely have reached a superior, indefinable state, and at the age of one hundred and ten, either a point or a line, all will be alive. I ask those who live as much as I do to see if I keep my word. Written, at the age of seventy-five, by me, formerly Hokusai, now Gakyo Rojin, the crazy old man of drawing. «
Height: 250 mm (9.84 in). Width: 380 mm (14.96 in
National Museums of World Culture/Stockholm / Göteborg
THIS WORK IS PUBLIC DOMAIN IN THE UNITED STATES.
[ Source of the photo and description: commons.wikimedia.org]
[ Hokusai portrait ,Source: en.wikipedia.org, Public Domain ]
Born in Edo (present-day Tokyo), Japan; supposedly October 31, 1760.
Died in Edo , May 10, 1849 (aged 88).
Hokusai is undoubtedly the greatest painter and designer of ukiyo-e of his time. His work influenced the greatest European artists like Monet and Gauguin.
Born of unknown parents, he attended xylography classes in a workshop in 1775 and then became a student of Katsukawa Shunsho. At the death of the latter, he knows some difficult moments. He continues his apprenticeship and literally absorbs all the techniques of traditional drawing and discovers the perspective resulting from Western art. His works all reveal a great quality of observation in a concern to account for the very source of things. He made an infinitesimal number of sketches of plants, landscapes, animals and characters. Some are likely to advance the number of 30,000.
He died aged after completing a work full of rare excellence. It had for pupil Gakutei, author of surimono and suites of landscapes abounding.