The Most Iconic Hokusai Pieces (And Where You Can Find Beautiful Prints!)

Katsushika Hokusai’s paintings have influenced artists all over the world, popularizing the woodblock prints aesthetic now synonymous with Japanese artwork. While most of Katsushika Hokusai’s work is hanging in museums, you can have his iconic style in your home by adding Hokusai art prints to your decor.

Here are some of the most well-known pieces of work by Katsushika Hokusai.

The Great Wave at Kanagawa
This is probably Hokusai’s most famous work, featuring a giant wave about to crash down on two boats. It’s most known for its sea foam, creating a bold white against dark blue. It’s part of the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji.

Fine Wind, Clear Morning
This is another piece from the Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji series. This painting features an earth-toned mountain with thin clouds drifting around its peak. Small trees dot the base of the mountain, creating an abstract look at the infamous landscape.

This simplistic painting is a bit different from Hokusai’s earlier works. It’s part of a collection of simple drawings, showing the beauty of cranes and their elegant movements. The cranes appear light and fluid, making this an interesting look at the birds’ form.

Hokusai Manga
Hokusai began to compile books full of sketches in 1811, using them as a way to attract students to his school. There are 12 volumes of sketches, most of them full of caricatures influenced by Japanese cartoons, or manga.

The Ghost of Oiwa from One Hundred Ghost Tales
Hokusai created this print in 1831, inspired by a scary Japanese ghost story about a murdered woman seeking revenge on her killer. This artwork captures the spirit of the ghost woman, with her stringy hair and droopy, sad eyes.

Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife
Some of Hokusai’s works stray a bit from landscapes and instead are a bit on the, well, erotic side. This is probably the most famous of his erotic work, depicting a woman known as Princess Tamatori having an encounter of sorts with an octopus. This piece would be known as a “shunga,” which would be purchased by men and women during that time period.

This piece is iconic for its boldness. It has vibrant colors against a rich, dark background, making it a bit different from his other works. There are multiple textures that come together to make up this phoenix image. Another phoenix piece by Hokusai is currently hanging at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The Museum of Fine Arts has an online shop full of Hokusai art prints that are perfect for any decor thanks to his vast style of artwork.

Tenma Bridge in Setsu Province
This is part of a woodblock series known as Rare Views of Japanese Bridges. Each depicts scenes of daily life on bridges throughout Japan. In this piece, people are crowded around a curved bridge, watching a fleet of ships passing underneath it. Created in 1831, this series was made after Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji.

The Waterfall in Ono on the Kisokai-Road, a Tour of the Waterfalls of the Provinces
This is part of a series of waterfalls created by Hokusai. This one shows a landscape with a towering waterfall, people looking at it from a bridge. It’s a woodblock print that caught the eye of art lovers around the world, showcasing the Japanese aesthetic style of the impressionist movement of that time period.

For more information about Fine Art Socks and Framed Museum Prints Please visit: Museum of Fine Arts – Boston

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