Essay on Analysis of The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai

1732 WordsApr 28, 20147 Pages
The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai is a famous woodcut print that is commonly referred to as The Great Wave. Hokusai Katsushika was one of the greatest Japanese printmakers of the 19th century. The print, The Great Wave, is a part of a 36-piece series of the views of Japan’s most famous mountain; Mount Fuji. Hokusai’s series was very popular and sold rather quickly. Due to its popularity, Hokusai decided to extend the series to 46 pieces. The original piece was created around 1830 and was published in 1832 by Nishimuraya Yohachi. Within this paper, I will be discussing the analysis of this print while connecting my findings to the elements and principles of design. The lines within this print are dynamic and static. Dynamic lines are…show more content…
It might, due to the wood it is printed on, but the artist did not put any literal texture onto the print. Although, there is implied texture that we can see within the painting; the lines, values, and shadows can create an implied texture. An example within the print would be the tips of the wave, Hokusai uses shadows and rigid lines to create texture of the waves turning into mist. The bottom of the wave is a smooth line, creating the texture of slick water being sucked up to the top of the giant wave. There are many values within this print, but only constitute a handful of colors: Blue, brown, black, white, and gray. Blue is the main color within this print, there are many values of the color blue used. The deepest part of the waves are the darkest blue, while the parts of the waves closest to the surface are lightest blue or white. The sky has a gradient, which is going from the lightest color to the darkest color or vice versa; the sky is creating a gradient, from the bottom up, of black to a very light gray, then to a white-yellow. The colors chosen by Hokusai can also interpret feelings and emotions. The habitual feeling when seeing the color blue is sadness. Sadness and despair would be fitting emotions for this work, due to the giant wave about to crash upon the men in their boats. Blue can also emit a feeling of elegance. The composition of the print and how the lines of the wave flow can be considered a form of elegance. The next group of

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