Artist: Katsushika Hokusai
Title: Under the Mannen Bridge at Fukagawa
Date: c. 1830 - 1834
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Description: This print depicts the beautiful arch of the Mannen Bridge (Ten Thousand years Bridge), which spanned the Onagigawa River, a small stream that flowed into the Sumida River in the Fukagawa district of Edo. Here the Onagigawa flows under the bridge to join the Sumida, shown as a horizontal dark area in the middle ground beyond the bridge. On the far bank of the Sumida is a long row of houses and shops. Beneath the tall arch of the bridge, Fuji rises at left of center, dark blue in the distance. Hokusai had experimented with a similar design showing Fuji under an arched bridge (Kondö 1965, fig.6). There, closely following Western-style perspective, he crowds the picture with numerous elements. The design obeys the principles of perspective but seems too rigid, lacking in artistic interpretation. In this print, Hokusai improved his design by combining Western perspective with some Japanese modifications. For example, he made the recession into space less extreme and involved fewer elements, creating a shallower and more open space, with traditional decorative treatment in a traditional space. The key-block was printed in blue. (The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, HOKUSAI AND HIROSHIGE – Great Japanese Prints from the James A. Michener Collection, Honolulu Academy of Arts: The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, 1998 Page 58 Cat. 9) - - - - - - - - - -