In the Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, the Japanese painter Hokusai shows the volcano in multiple points of view, atmospheres and changing lights, in a staging that described the men and their activities.
These prints are marked by contrasts between the foreground and the background, between the static and the dynamic and combine oriental craftsmanship to the western perspective leading to a perception of a depth of field up Here unknown.
Hokusai attaches a great importance to the geometric composition of his prints ... and it is this perspective which we will attach ourselves with some examples, where dominated the Prussian blue, color recently introduced in Japan at the time.
"Ushibori in the province of Hitachi" - prints of Hokusai / The thirty-six views of Mount Fuji - Doc. National Library of France - Department of Prints and Photography.
In the 20° view, "Ushibori in the province of Hitachi" , a diagonal cut the engraving, materialized by a large junk, which are reproduced with detail rigging, the loading, and the quiet life on the boat.
The diagonal is underlined by two wading birds that fly above the reeds.
The perfect cone of Fuji is taken by the facades in triangles of the small houses at the foot of the volcano.
The mist, cool colors and the sacred volcano covered in snow ... all contribute to framing a winter day.
"The Mishima pass in Kai Province" - prints of Hokusai / The thirty-six views of Mount Fuji - Doc. National Library of France - Department of Prints and Photography.
The 16° view, "the Mishima pass in Kai Province", the print is cut in two by a vertical, the trunk of a huge cedar bar the foreground, which gathers around him the various activities Farmers.
On the left, a man sits smoking a pipe, while on the right, passers borrow a sloping path. In the center, three travelers, their luggage placed nearby, seem measure the circumference of the tree encircling their arms, unless this is a ritual worship of the forces of nature.
This grouping gives way in the background to the perfect figure of Mount Fuji.
"The water wheel to Onden" - prints of Hokusai / The thirty-six views of Mount Fuji - Doc. National Library of France - Department of Prints and Photography.
"The water wheel Onden", 26 ° views of Mount Fuji, opposes the left and right sides of the print : on one side, the triangle of the majestic volcano in the distance, on the other, the semicircle of the impeller, which extends to the right of the weir, allows the eye to escape to the landscape.
Human activities, in this case the cleaning of the rice, are opposed to the tranquility of the environment. A dual brand men's work, dating back bags of rice paddy to the mill, and that of the women who wash the rice in foreground. The hard work of adult contrasts with the peaceful occupation of a child holding a turtle on a leash, at the foot of the wheel to the left of the print.
- National Library of France - Department of Prints and Photography.
- The advent of landscape prints in the 19th century by Jocelyn Bouquillard