Hokusai’s Great Wave is perhaps one of the most famous Japanese prints and one of it’s earliest impressions is currently on display at the British Museum.
The print was designed in 1831 when Hokusai was in his seventies and many thousands of copies were sold as colour woodblock prints. The Great Wave or The Great Wave off Kanagawa as it is originally called, was part of the artists series of thirty-six views of Mount Fuji and shows the wave in the foreground with Mount Fuji in the distance, incorporating European perspective. The small exhibition shows the influence Japanese prints had on the west – notably the impressionists once Japan opened its borders in 1859, and also explains the method behind woodblock printing.
This unique exhibition is definitely worth a visit and being held in just one room is the perfect lunch break treat for anyone working in the City of London.
The Great Wave is on display at the British Museum until January 8