At first Hokusai published thirty-six views, where a new kind of ink was employed, the Prussian blue, until then unknown in Japan. A few years later, because of its extraordinary success, he added ten new engravings called ura-Fuji, highlighted by a black outline. Because of its format, the ink employed and the theme, the series was an editorial novelty. For once the landscape is the main subject of a painting, not only the background. Mount Fuji, the sacred mountain, is represented from all his sides, close-up or far-off, under different kinds of weather and light. The original publisher, Nishimuraya Eijudo, had taken a big risk but because of the cult surrounding Mount Fuji and especially because of the amazing talent of Hokusai, the pay-off was enormous. Today, Seuil and BNF undertake this important project of gathering, presenting and reproducing in a full color beautiful book the thirty-six views of Mount Fuji, plus the second series of ten views, which constitutes a unique editorial event. In this book, an introductory text presents Hokusai fascination for nature with a focus on the development of landscape prints. A more detailed presentation of the Mt. Fuji series follows. Before each engraving comes a note listing the specifications and a description of the drawing that focuses on the symbolism of the images and places the work in its cultural and historical context.About the Author:
Jocelyn Bouquillard is the curator at the Bibliotheque Nationale de France in the Photography and Prints department. He is an Expert in Japanese prints and his specialty is in landscape prints.
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