Museoteca - Choshi in Sisha province, Hokusai, Katsushika
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Work information

Title: Choshi in Sisha province
Artist: Hokusai, Katsushika
Chronology: Between 1831 and 1833
Technique: Polychrome woodblock print (nishiki-e)

Hokusai sets a very short natural phenomenon. This representation of an instant, a fleeting impression is characteristic of ukiyo-e, "pictures of an ephemeral floating world". This print transcribes the literal and metaphorical vision highlighted by the dynamism of the composition: the moment when the wave threatening to wash over the boats and fishermen vulnerable to engulf whose fragile existence of humanity--parabole , is subject to the whims of nature.

If the wave is needed at all, it is primarily for aesthetics. Hokusai introduces European technical perspective to make spatial depth. The wave appears in close-up, while the volcano seems tiny witnessed a scene where the fishermen at risk of becoming a raging sea with the fragmented figure at the top of a multitude of small waves, similar to the claws of menacing dragons, communicates the creative energy of the artist.

Source: Musée Guimet

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