Views of Mt. Fuji: Landscape Prints by Hokusai and Hiroshige

The Norton Simon Museum presents Views of Mt. Fuji,  an exhibition of fifty woodblock prints by the nineteenth-century Japanese masters Hokusai and Hiroshige. The exhibition features selections from Hokusai's famous Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji  as well as Hirosage's complete series of the same title. Also on display are examples from Hirosage's One Hundred Views of Edo,  and other series in which Fuji appeared.

An enduring presence for the people of Japan, Mt. Fuji was a popular theme in Japanese art, both in literature and the visual arts. When landscape subject matter began to increase in popularity in the nineteenth century, woodblock printers naturally turned to the majestic mountain. Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) was the first and most important of the woodblock print landscapists. Hokusai depicted Mt. Fuji in many prints and made it the central theme in two major series. His Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji,  completed in 1831, is generally considered to be his masterpiece. Ichiryusai Hirosage (1799-1858) recieved his primary inspiration from the landscape prints of Hokusai. In addition to his series, also titled Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji,  which was his last work, he repeatedly depicted the famous mountain in his other views of Japan throughout his long career.