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The Dragon of Smoke Escaping from Mount Fuji

Katsushika Hokusai

A dragon emerges from the thick black smoke circling Mount Fuji. The smoke and the dragon are one and the same, the smoke being the path through which the dragon has traveled to escape. In contrast, Mount Fuji stands pristinely white, covered in snow. Mountains in the foreground and a small puff of trees indicate the extent of the size of the mountain, which is unaffected by the escape of the dragon. Hokusai was a master at evincing an almost religious reverence for the majesty of the mountain, which stands like a fortress in the middle of the painting, allowing the dragon of smoke to escape.

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