The Great Wave at Kanagawa
The Great Wave at Kanagawa (from a Series of Thirty–Six Views of Mount Fuji), Edo period (1615–1868), ca. 1831–33
Katsushika Hokusai (Japanese, 1760–1849);
The preeminence of this print—said to have inspired both Debussy’s La Mer and Rilke’s Der Berg—can be attributed, in addition to its sheer graphic beauty, to the compelling force of the contrast between the wave and the mountain. The turbulent wave seems to tower above the viewer, whereas the tiny stable pyramid of Mount Fuji sits in the distance.
Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art