Fine Wind, Clear Morning

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Fine Wind, Clear Morning
Japanese: 凱風快晴, Japanese: Gaifū kaisei
Colour print of a mountain
Artist Katsushika Hokusai
Year c. 1830–32
Type Ukiyo-e woodblock print
Dimensions 25.72 cm × 38 cm (10.125 in × 15 in)

Fine Wind, Clear Morning (Japanese: 凱風快晴 Gaifū kaisei), also known as South Wind, Clear Sky[1] or Red Fuji,[2] is wood block print by Japanese artist Hokusai (1760–1849), part of his Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji series, dating from c. 1830 to 1832.[3] The work has been described as "one of the simplest and at the same time one of the most outstanding of all Japanese prints".[3]

Description[edit]

In early autumn when, as the title specifies, the wind is southerly and the sky is clear, the rising sun can turn Mount Fuji red. Hokusai captures this moment with compositional abstraction but meteorological specificity, especially when compared to the rest of the series. The three shades of deepening blue of the sky mirror the three hues of the mountain. The lingering remnants of snow at the peak of the mountain and dark shadows encompassing the forest at its base place it very precisely in time.[4] Mount Fuji's solidly symmetrical shape on the right half of the image is balanced by the delicate clouds to the left, for a striking composition.[1]

Impressions[edit]

Early impression

The earliest impressions appear faded when compared to the versions usually seen, but are closer to Hokusai's original conception. The original prints have a deliberately uneven blue sky, which increases the sky's brightness and gives movement to the clouds. The peak is brought forward with a halo of Prussian blue. Subsequent prints have a strong, even blue tone and the printer added a new block, overprinting the white clouds on the horizon with light blue. Later prints also typically employ a strong benigara (Bengal red) pigment, which lent the painting its common name of Red Fuji. The green block colour was recut, lowering the meeting point between forest and mountain slope.[5]

Variant impression

An alternative impression of the print was made with a completely different colour-scheme. In this version the clouds are only just visible in the upper portion. The sky is a mostly rendered in a flat pale blue with a thin strip of grey at the top, and a graduated strip of Prussian blue along the horizon which extends up the slope of the mountain.

Historical information[edit]

This print and Hokusai's other masterpiece from his Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji series, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, are perhaps the most widely recognized pieces of Japanese art in the world.[6] Both are superb examples of the Japanese art of Ukiyo-e, "pictures of the floating world". Although Ukiyo-e can depict anything from contemporary city life to classical literature, and Hokusai's notebooks show that his own interests spanned an equally wide range, it was landscapes like this that earned him his fame. The saturated colors and stylized forms in such prints helped inspire the Impressionist and Post-impressionist movements decades later.[7]

Prints can be found in museums worldwide including the British Museum,[4] the Metropolitan Museum of Art,[2] and the Indianapolis Museum of Art.[1]

Artist[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Fine Wind, Clear Morning (Gaifū kaisei)". Indianapolis Museum of Art. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "South Wind, Clear Sky (Gaifû kaisei), also known as Red Fuji, from the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (Fugaku sanjûrokkei)". The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Calza, Gian Carlo (2003). Hokusai. Phaidon. p. 471. ISBN 0714844578. 
  4. ^ a b "Katsushika Hokusai, 'South Wind, Clear Sky' (Gaifū kaisei) 'Red Fuji', a colour woodblock print". The British Museum. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  5. ^ Keyes, Roger S. "Pink Fuji: The Print Hokusai Saw". Impressions (29): 68–75. JSTOR 42598013. 
  6. ^ Crossland, Thomas; Grundtitle, Dr. Andreas (2004). "The 'Faked' Fuji Print". Ukiyoe-Gallery. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  7. ^ Day, Holliday T. (1988). Indianapolis Museum of Art Collections Handbook. Indianapolis: Indianapolis Museum of Art. ISBN 0936260203. 

External links[edit]