Hokusai Woodblock Print Kannon of the Pure Waterfall on Tokaido Road
From the Series: A Tour of the Waterfalls in Various Provinces
Hokusai hand re carved and printed on washi, genuine Woodblock Print, Kannon of the Pure Waterfall on Tokaido Road is located at Sakanoshita. A beautifully detailed Oban sized woodblock print of Sakanoshita the 49th station on the Tokaido Road situated in a mountainous area between Nagoya and Kyoto. In this unusual waterfall a stream divides into veins of water and flows through crevices and over a rocky cliff.
The artwork has two contrasting sides. The left is printed in grey with sparse foilage and a blue cloud at the bottom. In contrast the right side is full of foliage and people interacting with their surroundings. At the bottom of the print a group of travelers is arriving at huts to take refreshment and rest. Two pilgrims are climbing up a steep path towards a man kneeling in prayer at a lattice window which is also the entrance to a cave dedicated to Kannon.
Signed Saki no Hokusai Iitsu hitsu | Censors Seal Kiwame | Publishers Seal Eijudo (Nishimuraya Yohachi) ca 1832.
Dimensions: Oban Width 25 cm and Height 38 cm
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Katsushika Hokusai 1760 – 1849
Hokusai was born to an artisan family in Edo, Japan. His childhood name was Tokitarō. His father never made Hokusai an heir and it is possible that his mother was a concubine. Hokusai began painting around the age of six.
At 12 Hokusai went to work in a bookshop and at 14 he also became an apprentice to a wood-carver. At 18 he was also accepted into the studio of Katsukawa Shunshō where he would learn to master the art of ukiyo-e. Ukiyo-e focused on images of the courtesans as well as Kabuki actors who were popular in Japan cities at the time.
Hokusai also changed the subjects of his works from the images of courtesans and actors. Instead, his work became focused on landscapes and images of the daily life of Japanese people from a variety of social levels. This change of subject was also a breakthrough in the world of ukiyo-e and in Hokusai’s career. Fireworks at Ryōgoku Bridge (1790) dates from this period of Hokusai’s life.