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South wind. Clear day (Red Fuji)

Print, 1832, 24.4×35.6 cm

Description of the artwork «South wind. Clear day (Red Fuji)»

The venerable 70 years of age, Hokusai began work on a series of woodcuts, which will be canonical and for his art, and classic Japanese prints in General. In the series "36 views of Fuji" included two of the most famous worldwide for his works, "the South wind. Clear day", also known as "Red Fuji", and "A big wave in Kanagawa".

The series was destined to become a cult classic: it had followers among his contemporaries, Hokusai, it was inspired by, and in the twentieth century. In the 60-ies of the 19th century another master of Japanese prints Ukiyo-e Utagawa Hiroshige created the series "36 views of Fuji". And in 1985 he published the novel an American science fiction writer Robert Zelazny's "24 views of mount Fuji Hokusai's brush", the main plot is built on the pilgrimage of a woman expecting a quick death, the places depicted in the engravings of the master.

36 and 10

Initially, the series consists of 36 prints, which are sacred to the Japanese mountain could be seen with the most successful angle: if you look at it from the capital Edo (now Tokyo). These sheets are called "Omote-Fuji" ("front side").

After the stunning success of the loop, the publisher decided to continue the series, and saw the light of another 10 sheets on which Fuji fixed primarily on the Western slope, "Ura-Fuji" ("back side"). History is silent about the reasons for which they get significant difference: for an additional 10 leaves the object's contours are marked in black, unlike the original prints, where the objects are outlined with dark blue.

Another feature of the entire series as a whole – when it was created used a particular shade of blue, which was called "Berlin Indigo." At that time it was a new pigment, introduced to Japan by Dutch traders.

Holy simplicity

Actually, despite the name of the cycle, on their own sacred mountain appears only on two plates. "Red Fuji"one of them (and here is the second). All the rest its snow-capped peak is a picturesque backdrop, against which are played out either everyday scenes of life different classesand raging elements or unfold even more picturesque landscapes with the participation of representatives the world of animals.

It would seem that this supernatural portrayed by Hokusai this print is that the prints from it are in the best collections in the world, such as British Museum in London, the Metropolitan in new York, the Art Museum of Indianapolis and others?

This is the most concise of all the engravings of Hokusai, the quintessence of Japanese minimalism. Nothing superfluous: just a few flowers, a couple of object in focus – only the lonely mountain and the sky, so Cirrus clouds on vocals. All items marked with a sketch, symbolic, like the artist deliberately set a goal to display conceived a minimal set of tools.

The sea was mount Fuji

Looking to work from the height of our age, realize how she's ahead of her time. "Red Fuji" could be representative of art Nouveau, which is not surprising, because the origins of art Nouveau firmly grown roots in Japanese visual arts. How single strokes cover the foot of a dormant volcano covered by coniferous forest, clearly reads the breath of impressionism (and the birth of the light not without the intervention of Japanese prints).

In its geometric and color purity engraving Hokusai approaching even to artistic ideals the Suprematists and the illusory nature of the landscape gives a dreamlike surrealism. But, no matter how phantasmagoric it may seem red mountain, the view is not fiction and not a whim of the master.

The fact that it appears under the conditions referred to in the title of the engraving. In early autumn, when the skies are clear and the wind blows from the South, the rising sun paints the Fuji in purple color. And this transitional moment between day and night, change of seasons, dream and reality, skillfully captured will Hoquiam, makes the "Red Fuji" is so fascinating and almost as paradoxical as "Black square" Malevich.

Author: Natalia Azarenka
from 1450 rub
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About the artwork

Art form: Print

Subject and objects: Landscape

Style of art: Ukiyo-e

Technique: Engraving

Materials: Wood

Date of creation: 1832

Size: 24.4×35.6 cm

Artwork in selections: 37 selections

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