More Than Just The Great Wave off Kanagawa

If you stop by here on a regular basis, you are probably aware that I am a fan of Japanese woodblock printing. Most folks are familiar with “Under the Wave off Kanagawa”  by  ukiyo-e artist Hokusai, created in late 1831 during the Edo period of Japanese history. The print depicts three boats moving through a storm-tossed sea, with a large wave forming a spiral in the centre and Mount Fuji visible in the background. “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” has been described as “possibly the most reproduced image in the history of all art”, as well as being a contender for the “most famous artwork in Japanese history”. But there is much more to Japanese woodblock printing.

I recently learned about the Ukiyo-e Search archive which was created by John Resig who built the online database back in 2012. The archive now includes more than 223,000 individual artworks from the early 18th century to today. Encompassing an array of styles, subject matter, and aesthetic impulses, the database is organized by artist and time period, and the system facilitates easy comparison of copies held at museums and institutions around the world. It’s well worth a visit.



This entry was posted in Art, Asia, History, Museums and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to More Than Just The Great Wave off Kanagawa

  1. My favourite here is the sailing ship.

  2. You chose great examples. Some time ago, I watched some great videos on thhis technique. Here for instance:

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