A Chinese horseman stops to look out over the water at a group of thatched houses amidst pine trees, or perhaps at the cluster of bobbing waterbirds. His attendant waits on him, carrying a pack and wearing a straw raincoat.
The subject is not identified in the title cartouche; however it is most likely that the figure is the Chinese poet Tu Fu (712-770). In one of his poems, Tu Fu expresses appreciation for a friend that he left behind as he rides out into a desolate winter landscape, fleeing his home to escape a war.
This print hails from the series: "A True Mirror of Chinese and Japanese Poems", published around 1833. A truly splendid series, it is known for its beautiful compositions, exceptional coloration and high-culture subjects. In each of the ten designs that Hokusai made for the collection, he depicted classical poets in landscapes that they knew or referenced in one of their poems.
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