______________________________________________ “Rainstorm Beneath the Summit” | By: Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849)
Created ca. 1830-1833, for the famous series “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji”, this brilliant print depicts Mt. Fuji, as a sudden lightning storm erupts around the base of the mountain.
The jagged forks of lightning form an untidy echo of the attenuated slopes, like a visual exclamation of the crack of the thunder that must accompany them.
The mountain peak, dusted with snow, still rises unconcerned above the wreath of crumpled thunder clouds that mass behind the middle slopes and the shadow cast by the mountain at the right.
The dappled brown and orange that rise to interlock with the descending ribbons of snow suggest deep clefts in the side of the mountain.
Here Hokusai has brilliantly captured a single moment when the forces of nature have dramatically changed the view of any onlooker.
The constant, restless development of concepts and forms was at the heart of Hokusai’s art. This print is only superficially different in composition to Hokusai’s ‘South Wind, Clear Sky’, and yet the two designs are deliberately contrasting, down to the smallest detail.
Both Hokusai’s choice of art name and frequent depiction of Mount Fuji stem from his religious beliefs.
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Categories: Art Education