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South Wind, Clear Dawn
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Group: The Series

Artist: Katsushika HOKUSAI
Birth/Death: 1760–1849

Title: South Wind, Clear Dawn
Date Made: c.1830-5

Lender: Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College
Credit Line: Mary A. Ainsworth Bequest, 1950

Hokusai created Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji when he was in his seventies. His experiments with diverse styles mixed Eastern tradition and Western techniques. To achieve this mix, Hokusai simplified the formal elements of composition, colour and line.

South Wind, Clear Dawnis amongst the most widely recognised works in Japanese art.

South Wind, Clear Dawn is popularly known as Red Fuji. In Red Fuji, Hokusai offers a simplified image of Mt Fuji. Its almost abstract form and composition capture the essence of the mountain. In this simple, yet powerful, vision of Fuji, the work is enhanced by the artist’s use of blues and red-browns to create depth and shading.

The lack of a human or animal form is unusual in Japanese landscape. Red Fuji is purely landscape, evoking the mystery of nature.

The artist’s Thirty-six Views of Mt Fuji feature many different images of the mountain, in a variety of seasonal conditions. Through these images, Hokusai expresses the power of nature, and, in doing so, questions the relationship of man to the natural world.

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