Under the Wave off Kanagawa (Kanagawa oki nami ura), also known as The Great Wave, from the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (Fugaku sanjūrokkei)
Katsushika Hokusai (Japanese, Tokyo (Edo) 1760–1849 Tokyo (Edo))
Edo period (1615–1868)
Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper
10 1/8 x 14 15/16 in. (25.7 x 37.9 cm)
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Not on view
The breathtaking composition of this woodblock print, said to have inspired Debussy’s La Mer (The Sea) and Rilke’s Der Berg (The Mountain), ensures its reputation as an icon of world art. Hokusai cleverly played with perspective to make Japan’s grandest mountain appear as a small triangular mound within the hollow of the cresting wave. The artist became famous for his landscapes created using a palette of indigo and imported Prussian blue.
Signature: Zen Hokusai Iitsu hitsu
Houston. Institute for the Fine Arts, Rice University. "Art Nouveau," March 1, 1976–June 30, 1976.
Art Institute of Chicago. "Art Nouveau," August 1, 1976–October 31, 1976.
Sarasota Springs. Skidmore College. "A Survey of Japanese Prints: Moronobu to Nensho," February 14, 1980–March 2, 1980.
London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Katsushika Hokusai," November 15, 1991–February 9, 1992.
Dallas Museum of Art. "Katsushika Hokusai," May 24, 1992–July 19, 1992.
Nagoya City Museum. "Ukiyo-e from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 14, 1995–May 28, 1995.
Milan. Palazzo Reale. "Hokusai: Il Vecchio Pazzo per la Pittura," October 1, 1999–January 9, 2000.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Sense of Place: Landscape in Japanese Art," May 8, 2002–September 8, 2002.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Great Waves: Chinese Themes in the Arts of Korea and Japan I," March 1, 2003–September 21, 2003.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Poetry and Travel in Japanese Art," December 18, 2008–May 31, 2009.
Washington, DC. Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. "Hokusai: Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji," March 24, 2012–June 17, 2012.