葛飾北斎 冨嶽三十六景 相州七里浜
Name Shichiri-ga-hama Beach in Sagami Province, from the series Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji
Times Edo Period
Use O-ban polychrome print, 26.1 x 37.5cm
Artist: Katsushika Hokusai

c. 1831 (Tempou 2), Publisher: Eijudou

Although the title suggests the scene of Shichiri-ga-hama Beach, in this picture the beach was omitted, and instead, a unique composition with a tall tree in the middle of the picture and closed-up Mt. Fuji are illustrated. This picture is aizuri (indigo printing), a printing technique to express the picture using only the gradation of blue color. This work was one of the trial product to create new color for new age, and new pigment Prussian blue (bero-ai), which was imported from abroad at that time was abundantly used.

This work is from Hokusai’s representative series Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji. This type of picture is called as aizuri or blue printed picture, since the pigment of Prussian blue (bero-ai) imported from Europe was used as a material. The expression of this piece is slightly different from the ordinary ukiyo-e print, inherits more elements of Chinese monochrome painting. The production year of this piece changed from Bunsei era (1818-1830) to later period circa Tempou 2 (1831), according to the recent research of the imported year of Prussian blue, and the year of it started to be used as a pigment.

Katsushika Hokusai
Hōreki 10~Kaei 2 (1760~1849)
Hokusai was a pupil of Katsukawa Shunsho; also said to have studied under Kano Yusen, Tsutsumi Torin, and Sumiyoshi Hiroyuki. He produced of wide variety of art and media. Later in his life, he focused more on the paintings and worked beyond the framework of the established ukiyo-e. He had students such as Hokuba, Hokkei, Hokuju and Shinsai. He had a long career period started from An’ei 8 till his death (1779-1849).