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The Suspension Bridge on the Border of Hida and Etchu Provinces (1834)

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About the Art

This print hails from the series "Remarkable Views of the Bridges in all the Provinces" published in 1834. Bridges were a favorite subject of Hokusai, with many fine examples in his catalog. Two farmers carry their loads across a precarious suspension bridge, on the border between Hida and Etchu provinces (now Gifu and Toyama prefectures).

The farmer at the rear appears to pause to take in the view, perhaps looking at the two on the hilltop, while the other forges ahead, head down. This dynamic repeats between the two deer themselves, an example of Hokusai's typically playful composition.

The valley beneath them is shrouded in mist while rising clouds in the background partially obscure a deep blue mountain crop. Hokusai experiments with different representational styles, depicting the fog in the foreground in the traditional Japanese way while drawing the clouds in the background in a Western-style he would have recently discovered.

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