Katsushika HOKUSAI (1760-1849)

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Totomi sanchu, “In the Mountains of Totomi Province.” The location was in what is now the western part of Shizuoka Prefecture and shows a poor logging family, two of whom are sawing planks from a huge log supported by wood trestles. To the left another man is sharpening a saw. Smoke curles up from a fire and clouds encircle Fuji. One of the finest designs from Hokusai’s most famous series: Fugaku sanju-rokkei, the “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji.” The set of 46 prints published by Eijudo c. 1830-32. An exceptional example of this design, printed, apart from light brown bokashi to the edge of the smoke cloud, in aizuri, Prussian blue ( Japanese: berorin, ie “Berlin” blue, from the place of manufacture ). The publisher of the set Eijudo advertised the set as using aizuri technique, to cater for the public’s craving for anything new ( it was only widely imported from c. 1829 ), and some designs from the set are predominantly blue while other prints, as here, are mainly aizuri in early editions.

Very fine impression with strong wood grain evident. Probably first edition. The publisher’s seal and censor seal blind-printed bottom left corner, possibly so the red did not interfere with the colour scheme. Other, later editions have the seals in red. Still later the seals are removed, the outline is printed in black – not blue, and the colour scheme is changed dramatically. Fine colour. Slight lateral trimming, mainly on right, otherwise fine condition. Signed Zen Hokusai Iitsu hitsu.

Status: Sold

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