Hokusai: Turban Shell Hall of the Five Hundred Arhat Temple (Gohyaku Rakan-ji Sazai-do)

Katsushika Hokusai

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Artist: Katsushika Hokusai
Title: Turban Shell Hall of the Five Hundred Arhat Temple (Gohyaku Rakan-ji Sazai-do)
Series: 36 Views of Mount Fuji
Date: ca. 1832

Visitors on the viewing platform of the third story of the Sazaidô are transfixed at the sight of Mt. Fuji rising across the marshes. This image was chosen for the cover image of 1998’s Hokusai: Bridging East and West, edited by Matthi Forrer, but this is an earlier impression than the shown Pulverer example. As explained by Matthi Forrer (1991), earlier impressions have black rather than grey as the colors of the pilgrim’s backpacks, and the lower area next to the man dressed in dark blue is black rather than grey. Also, the red publisher’s mark and censor’s seal are present. There is also woodgrain visible in the grey block used for the marsh.

Tim Clark has written an extensive description here: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=787328&partId=1. He notes “Every element of the composition--the poses and gestures of the figures, the lines of the architecture that converge towards the horizon--is set up to enhance a sense of deep spatial recession.” This is an early impression, as evidenced by numerous factors. As explained by Matthi Forrer (1991), earlier impressions have black rather than grey as the colors of the pilgrim’s backpacks, and the lower area next to the man dressed in dark blue is black rather than grey. Also, the red publisher’s mark and censor’s seal are present. There is also woodgrain visible in the grey block used for the marsh. In terms of impression, this is a comparable impression to the Met’s Frank Lloyd Wright example as well being superior as to at least one of the British Museum’s examples. It is similar in condition to the earliest of the 3 MFA examples, which is an early impression with a center fold, but the MFA example is more trimmed on the right. The MIA impression is inferior, as are the Harvard and Chazen examples.

Condition: Excellent impression and color; very good condition. Center fold.
Dimensions: ôban 24.2 x 37.4 cm
Publisher: Nishimuraya Yohachi (Eijudô)
Literature: See Forrer’s “Hokusai”, plate 22. Cover image and plate 9 for “Hokusai: Bridging East and West” (1998) curated by Matthi Forrer.
Signature: zen Hokusai Iitsu hitsu

SKU: HOK083


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