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All About Japan - The Great Wave off Kanagawa: The greatest Japanese work


Famous Japanese print by the painter and ukiyo-e specialist (浮世絵 “image of the floating world”), The Great Wave off Kanagawa was published in 1831 by Hokusai.

The scene comes from the “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji” series of works.



The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai

In the foreground, there are blue and white waves, one occupying half the composition, carrying three boats with it.

The background is composed of Mount Fuji, reduced by the effect of perspective, and which emerges from a dark gray background, above which a pink and yellow sky emerges.



Quiksilver brand logo

There are many parodies of The Great Wave off Kanagawa:

  • Quiksilver logo (major areas of activity: snowboarding and surfing)
  • Orangina advertising (the wave shakes the bottle)
  • Underground galleries of the Grand network south of Paris
  • Adaptation with the Golden Gate of San Francisco



Museum with paintings by Hokusai

Several museums keep copies, sometimes slightly different from each other.

Guimet Museum (Paris), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the British Museum, the Tokyo National Museum, the National Library of France.

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