Katsushika Hokusai


Firewood Gatherers Returning From Their Work

signed Katsushika Hokusai at right, ca.1814-17

oban yoko-e 10 1/2 by 15 1/4 in., 26.6 by 38.7 cm

This design was adapted from a long-format surimono by Hokusai dating to circa 1800-1810s. In the 1810s there was a vogue for horizontal oban series typically embellished with a stylized cloud at the top of the composition (usually printed in rose or red) which mimicked the experience of viewing a horizontal handscroll. The horizontal compositions were likely inspired by refined long-format surimono (privately published prints) that were exchanged by sophisticated Edoites which compositionally alllude to lavish handscrolls. After a surimono was produced and distributed by the poetry club or individual who commissioned the run, the original blocks could be discretely adapted for a simplified commercial edition in the standard oban size simply by cropping a portion of the design to the left or right, and adding the cloud pattern to the upper fifth of the composition.

The British Museum, accession no. 1960, 0716,0.9 (surimono)
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, accession no. 21.7881 (surimono)

(inv. no. 10-5342)

price: $3,000

Katsushika Hokusai
surimono, ca. 1800-1810, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


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site last updated
March 21, 2023

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475