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HOKUSAI - Japanese Woodblock Print MT.FUJI UNDER MANNEN BRIDGE AT FUKAGAWA 1830

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HOKUSAI - Japanese Woodblock Print MT.FUJI UNDER MANNEN BRIDGE AT FUKAGAWA 1830

HOKUSAI

Under Mannen Bridge in Fukagawa

from Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji


Date: original c. 1830-2, this is a Showa era print from recarved blocks published by Watanabe with a 7mm circular publisher's seal on aft of the ship (see photos)
Size: oban, approx 15.5" x 10.5"
Condition: Fine, no condition issues
Impression: Fine, solid key lines and excellent registration
Color: Fine, deep saturated color and bleed through to verso
MANNEN BRIDGE SPANNED A LITTLE RIVER called Onagigawa, which flowed into the Sumida in the Fukagawa district of Edo. In this print Hokusai shows the view from the Onagigawa across the Sumida toward Mt. Fuji. The mountain is seen under the left side of the bridge, which itself forms the main element of the composition. An earlier print by Hokusai, dating from 1800-05 and entitled "Fuji from Takahashi," bears a strong resemblance to this print. Takashashi was the next bridge up the Onagigawa from Mannen Bridge and was also a high arch supported by two pylons. Hokusai made use in both prints of his version of Western perspective, but his version was not always consistent. Although the houses on the left and right in this print grow smaller in the distance, as they should, it is difficult to tell just where Hokusai's eye was supposed to be. He looks up at the underside of the bridge, but down on the roofs that were apparently higher than the bridge itself. Furthermore, from a point low enough to see the bridge at this angle, the scene on the opposite bank of the Sumida should be at a lower level.

This says nothing more than that Hokusai was not one to be confined to rules when they did not fit in width his idea of a good composition. What he was particularly interested in here was the sweeping symmetrical form of the bridge and the intrusion upon this symmetry of the mountain, the boat in the foreground, the fisherman at the lower right, and the large umbrella just to the left of the center of the bridge. The mountain itself, it might be noted, is an involuted form of the arch of the bridge. The signature is "Iitsu, the former Hokusai."


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