Home Blog How the Great Wave by Hokusai influenced european impressionism and why has it’s symbol endured to this day

How the Great Wave by Hokusai influenced european impressionism and why has it’s symbol endured to this day

by admin

The Great Wave off Kanagawa, also known as The Great Wave, is perhaps one of the most iconic works in japanese art history. This woodblock print created by the renowned artist Katsushika Hokusai in the early 19th century has had a profound influence on European Impressionism and continues to captivate art enthusiasts around the world to this day.

Hokusai’s masterpiece depicts a towering wave about to crash over three fishing boats, with Mount Fuji in the background. The dynamic composition and vivid colors of The Great Wave are characteristic of the Ukiyo-e style, which was popular in Japan during the Edo period. The use of perspective and the sense of movement in the print are what truly sets it apart and makes it a timeless work of art.

When The Great Wave reached Europe in the mid-19th century, it had a significant impact on the Impressionist artists of the time. The clean lines and bold colors of Hokusai’s print inspired painters like Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, and Edgar Degas to experiment with new techniques and styles. The influence of Japanese art can be seen in the Impressionists’ use of vibrant colors, asymmetrical compositions, and emphasis on capturing fleeting moments. These artists admired the simplicity and elegance of Japanese prints, which contrasted with the more detailed and traditional European paintings of the time.

The enduring symbol of The Great Wave lies in its universal themes and striking imagery. The image of a powerful wave crashing down on fragile boats resonates with viewers on a primal level, representing the forces of nature and the fleeting nature of life. The ominous presence of Mount Fuji in the background adds a sense of majesty and timelessness to the scene, making it a truly unforgettable work of art.

Despite being created over two centuries ago, The Great Wave continues to inspire artists, designers, and pop culture icons to this day. Its influence can be seen in everything from fashion to architecture, showcasing the enduring legacy of Japanese art on the global stage. The combination of beauty, power, and emotion in The Great Wave by Hokusai makes it a timeless masterpiece that will continue to captivate audiences for generations to come.

In conclusion, the impact of The Great Wave by Hokusai on European Impressionism cannot be understated. Its dynamic composition, vibrant colors, and universal themes have solidified its place as a masterpiece of Japanese art and a symbol of enduring beauty and power. The legacy of The Great Wave continues to inspire artists and viewers alike, proving that great art knows no boundaries of time or culture.

Want to get more details?

Edo Gallery

770 Ayrault rd # 414 Fairport, NY 14450
Dealer of Authentic Japanese woodblock prints. Art from the Japanese Edo period, ukiyo-e, Meiji period, shin hanga, & sosaku hanga. From Hokusai to Hasui, browse our online catalogue of fine Japanese prints. We specialize in only original works backed by our 110% authenticity money back guarantee.


Related Posts