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Fishing by Torchlight in Kai Province, from Oceans of Wisdom

Katsushika Hokusai

Fishing by Torchlight in Kai Province, from Oceans of Wisdom

Katsushika Hokusai
  • Date: c.1833
  • Style: Ukiyo-e
  • Genre: genre painting
  • Tag: fishing
  • Order Oil Painting
    reproduction

Many of Hokusai’s prints emit a surreal quality, at the same time as depicting a real life episode. This print does just that. Eight fishermen in the foreground of the painting are struggling against the smoothly rippling waves, trying to pull fish from the water. Although night sky is black, it gives off a strange yellow glow, which allows the fishermen to see what they are doing. Hokusai’s method of creating swirling lines in the water make it seem as if it contains a quickly moving current, which threatens to pull the fishermen down, and let their newly-caught prey escape.

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