Artist: Katsushika Hokusai
Title: Outing of a Young Man (Shönenkö)
Date: c. 1833 - 1834
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Hokusai visualizes the poem ""Outing of a Young Man"" (""Shönekö"") by Gui Guopu of the Tang dynasty. This young dandy, dressed in leather clothing, is seated on a golden saddle upon a white horse. Urging his horse onward with a whip beautifully inlaid with pieces of coral, he had hurried to Zhantai, a pleasure quarter in Jangan (Changan). On his return, he realizes that he has left his whip behind, and his horse refuses to run. Proud and self-conscious, the young man does not wish to go back, afraid that people might think that was attached to the woman he had met. So he continues riding with a whip improvised from a willow branch. The print conveys the plesant spring day with newly leafed-out willow trees, the elegant rider, and the road winding along a lake or a river, where a fisherman is angling. Hokusai shows skillful foreshortening of the horse and the man. It is an exquisite work with a pleasant color scheme, enhanced by the superb techniques of wood-block carving and printing. (Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, “Hokusai and Hiroshige”, 1998)