This print is known for its bold, unique composition using simple geometric forms. In the foreground, a man works intently at sealing the seams of an enormous barrel.
Known for his ennobling of the craftsmen and working classes, Hokusai plays with the significance of the elements by relegating the venerable Mount Fuji to a small mound within an artisan's cask.
The tub frames a miniscule Fuji and we look to it across a plain of rice fields. Dispensing with his usual interest in the details, Hokusai composes a design with only a few elements: bushes, a tree, a barrel, the cooper and his tools.
The circlular motif is repeated in the split-bamboo hoops on the ground. The small triangle of Mount Fuji provides a visual contrast in size and shape. Rows of rectangular rice fields complete the composition.
Geography was not always top-of-mind for Hokusai. Some note that at Bishü, in present-day Owari province, 150 miles west of Fuji, one can not see the mountain. Hokusai paid little regard to this when naming this print "Fuji View Field, From Owari Province".
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