Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) was a Japanese artist, painter, draughtsman and engraver.
The Great Wave off Kanagawa is the first in a series of prints entitled "Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji", published between 1831 and 1833. We do not know the actual print run for the first edition of the series, which was printed in eight sections, according to tradition; today several examples are held in the collections of the Guimet Museum of Asian Arts (Paris), the Victoria & Albert Museum (London), the Royal Museums of Art and History (Brussels), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York) and the National Library of France (Paris).
This series of prints is characterised by the significant use of Prussian blue, a new colour fashionable in the 1830s, and by the occasional use of Western techniques for representing perspective, which was previously unknown in traditional Middle Eastern art: figures or objects were depicted according to their importance (e.g. spiritual value), and not according to their actual size, proximity or distance.