“Southern Wind, Clear Morning” was one of the prints that helped secure Hokusai’s fame and popularity, both within Japan and overseas. Critics describe this woodblock print as "one of the simplest and at the same time one of the most outstanding of all Japanese prints".
The work is thought to depict the rare phenomenon seen on exceptionally clear early mornings from summer through to fall, when the wind is sufficiently southerly and sky clear, in which the flooding of the dawning light dyes the surface of Mount Fuji red.
Hokusai captures this moment with compositional abstraction. It is colloquially known as "Aka Fuji" (Red Fuji).
With "Red Fuji", Hokusai shows complex and rich expression through the beautiful gradations of the print. It transitions from brown to red while the grain of the woodblock faintly emerges from beneath. This masterpiece captures the fair, even solemn form of the mountain bathing in the morning sun.
The print hails from Hokusai’s Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji series, dating from c. 1830 to 1832.
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