The Great Wave Analysis

1585 Words7 Pages
Katsushika Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanagawa (also known as The Great Wave), is one of the most iconic works in the history of Japanese art. Presumably created in Japan around 1829-1832, the woodblock print was part of the Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji series which featured ravishing sceneries of Mount Fuji. Being the first print in the series, The Great Wave was a phenomenal success. Before the emergence of Katsushika Hokusai, woodblock printing technique has been around for centuries and used mainly for printing of texts. One of the printing styles, Ukiyo-e, was used by Japanese printmakers in the Edo period. The subjects revolved around popular culture such as Kabuki actors, sumo wrestling, and Geisha (Harris 9). Though the practice of using woodblock to print has decreased over the years, Hokusai’s The Great Wave has helped to elevate Japanese art to the rest of the world. This essay will examine the creation process of The Great Wave and its aesthetics. The focus will be on the impact of this artwork and its symbolism.
The first object that captures one’s attention in this piece of work is the enormous wave that seems to be sweeping off the objects in the background. The ferocious wave takes up half of the size in the composition, foreshadowing an impending disaster ahead. The colour of the wave, in different hues of blue, blends the elements together. Upon a closer look, there are three boats with people on it and a hidden Mount Fuji in the background. During the
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