Katsushika Hokusai, born in 1760 in today’s city of Tokyo, started an apprenticeship as wood-carver at the age of 15. He travelled through Japan, frequently changing his teachers and schools and also his name. During his lifetime of almost 90 years, Hokusai used about 30 different names, such as Gakyojin that can be translated as “crazy about painting”. The series “Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji” became his most popular work. It includes the famous “Great Wave off Kanagawa”. In his Homeland Japan, Hokusai’s work was rather considered as “everyday graphics”, whereas in Europe his art contributed to Japonism, inspired artists like Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt and also influenced Art Nouveau.
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