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View of Mount Fuji from Horseback

Artist: Katsushika Hokusai
Created: 1832
Format: Woodblock print

View of Mount Fuji from Horseback

From Katsushika Hokusai’s most famous woodblock art series “Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji”, emerged the remarkable print titled ‘View of Mount Fuji from Horseback’, also known as ‘Sumidagawa Sekiya no sato’ (Sekiya Village by the Sumida River). Created in 1832, it is listed as number 22 in the series.

Three pony express riders mounted on their steeds are trotting down post road, the wind lifting their coats as they travel. On the far right of the art work is a small building, perhaps the local post office. The long and winding road they traverse is set amidst a scenic view of the Sumida River.

In the distance, perfectly framed by the lush trees in the middle ground, sits the mighty Mount Fuji. Since the onlooker’s attention is immediately drawn to the galloping figures, the talented Katsushika Hokusai used this unique viewpoint to create a feeling of great distance between the riders and the mountain, and bring about a powerful sense of isolation to those who gaze at its majestic beauty.

About Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji

The famed Japanese art series titled “Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji” was produced by Hokusai in 1830, at the age of seventy, at the height of his creativity and at the peak of his career. Every painting in the series shows the revered Mount Fuji, be it from a distance, as with ‘View of Mount Fuji from Horseback’, or at close range for a more detailed look. The original collection, which contained thirty six artworks, was to be expanded to include an additional ten pieces; however, production was stopped for unknown reasons.

About the Artist

Katsushika Hokusai was one of the most popular artists in Japan during the 1820’s. His celebrated series “Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji” sky-rocketed him to artistic fame and paved the path for his future popular collection “A Tour of Japanese Waterfalls”.  This talented painter was born in the Katsushika district of Edo, Japan (now known as Tokyo) though his exact date of birth is unknown. It is said that he entered this world on the 23rd day of the 9th month of the 10th year of the Hōreki era (old calendar) which would be October 31st, 1760.


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