KATSUSHIKA HOKUSAI

Katsushika Hokusai revolutionized ukiyo-e, a genre of Japanese woodblocks and paintings featuring beautiful women, sumo wrestlers, travel scenes, and history/folk tales. His work impressed western art lovers, but not until later in life when he had already established himself as a master artist. Hokusai was born into an artisan family in the Katsushika district of Edo, Japan (now Modern Tokyo) to a mirror maker. He developed his art interest helping with the designs around the mirrors. Hokusai entered a studio to learn under a master wood-carver and he published his first series. When his mentor died, he explored European styles and incorporated them into his own work, focusing on landscapes. His most prominent piece became Great Wave off Kanagawa, a piece that responded to the domestic travel boom and a personal obsession with Mount Fuji.

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