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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

In the Well of the Wave off Kanagawa, from the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji

Photo: Colleen Kollar Zorn

In the Well of the Wave off Kanagawa, from the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji


Katsushika Hokusai

Japanese, 1760 - 1849

One of the most recognizable images in the art world, Hokusai’s Great Wave is part of the series that depicts views of Mount Fuji in thirty-six different guises. Here, the sacred mountain is dwarfed and yet unmoved by the towering wave. First published for the New Year in 1831, this image was intended to be an auspicious one, not one depicting catastrophe, as perceived by many viewers today.
Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
10 3/16 x 14 15/16 in. (25.9 x 37.9cm)
Gift of Mary and Allan Kollar, in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Seattle Art Museum
Provenance: Collection of Edwin (1889-1968) and Irma Grabhorn (1906-2003), San Francisco, California; by descent through the family; consigned to [Sebastian Izzard, New York]; sold to Allan Kollar, Seattle, Washington, 2007; to Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington, 2009
Photo: Colleen Kollar Zorn
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Asian Art Museum, Fleeting Beauty: Japanese Woodblock Prints, Apr. 1 - July 4, 2010. Text by Catherine Roche. Cat. no. 42, reproduced p. 65.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Luminous: The Art of Asia, Oct. 13, 2011 - Jan. 8, 2012.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Asian Art Museum, Boundless: Stories of Asian Art, Feb. 8, 2020 - ongoing [on view Oct. 29, 2021 - Jan. 16, 2022].
Published ReferencesIshikawa, Chiyo, ed. A Community of Collectors: 75th Anniversary Gifts to the Seattle Art Museum. Seattle, Washington: Seattle Art Museum, 2007; reproduced pp. 6, 172 (no. 147).

Junker, Patricia. Albert Bierstadt, Puget Sound on the Pacific Coast: A Superb Vision of Dreamland, in association with Beauty and Bounty: American Art in the Age of Exploration. Seattle, Washington: Seattle Art Museum in association with University of Washington Press, 2011; pp. 55, 57, reproduced fig. 3.16 [not in exhibition].

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

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