Image: The Great Wave
Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), was a Japanese artist, painter, printmaker and ukiyo-e (woodblock printing) maker of the Edo period. In his time he was Japan's leading expert on Chinese painting. Born in Edo (now Tokyo), Hokusai is best known as author of the woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, (c. 1831), which includes the iconic and internationally-recognized print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa.
Hokusai created the 'Thirty-Six Views' both as a response to a domestic travel boom and as part of a personal obsession with Mount Fuji. It was this series, specifically 'The Great Wave' print and 'Fuji in Clear Weather', that secured Hokusai's fame both within Japan and overseas. Indeed, it was 'The Great Wave' print that initially received, and continues to receive, acclaim and popularity in the Western world. Hokusai is considered one of the outstanding figures of Japanese woodblock printing, sometimes referred to as ukiyo-e.