|Street Scenes: 1825|
Katsushika Hokusai: Born 1760 in Tokyo. Died 1849 in Tokyo.
Extremely prolific. 268 pieces of artwork are catalogued at Wikiart by Hokusai.
|Woman looking at herself in a mirror 1805|
What attracted me to this artist is the extremely wide range of topics he recorded.
Unlike some artists who only recorded the most exceptional events, Hokusai saw the exceptional in the ordinary: Men making barrels, a pretty girl looking at herself in a mirror, men working at a forge.
Hokusai also recorded salacious and explicit sexual congress. A man has to pay his bills and if that is what people with money are buying...
|Street scene 1825|
Viewers were enchanted by his use of the color blue. Blue pigment, in the form of Prussian Blue, had recently be imported from Europe. Before that, there were no economically viable forms of permanent, blue pigment in Japan.
|Shore of Tago Bay, Ejini at Tokaido 1832|
Hokusai was also noted for painting women with big heads, often the ones involved in sexual congress. The general consensus is that "big headed women" were considered sexy the way women with large breasts are considered in contemporary culture.
A less common opinion is that the heads of children who grow up malnourished often appear out-sized and the apparent size of the women's/girls' heads might not have been exaggerated.
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