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Gogh vs. Hokusai: The Best of Five Matches

A contest between famous masterpieces of the world! How will it end?

Gogh vs. Hokusai

From the annals of Western art history, we have Vincent van Gogh. Meanwhile representing Japan is the artist, Katsushika Hokusai. Both artists gave concrete form to the invisible energy of Nature. 

Vincent van Gogh

Starry Night
Oil painting on canvas 73.7 × 92.1 cm
1889 Museum of Modern Art, New York
Photo: Granger (PPS News Agency)

This is one of van Gogh’s leading works, which is said to have been the view drawn from his room at the Saint-Rémy-de-Provence asylum where he was admitted after the famous incident in which he cut off his ear.

Hokusai

The Great Wave off Kanagawa from the Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji
Ooban (large) nishiki-e print
After 1831, Edo Period
Photo: Heritage (PPS News Agency)

This leading work of Hokusai art sent a shock wave through Western society in the 19th century, and this wave had a tremendous influence on many artists, including van Gogh, Camille Claudel, and Claude Debussy.

What to look for in these masterpieces!

Van Gogh’s Starry Night differs from the other works viewed up to now in that the shape of the clouds drawn in the sky were clearly conscious of the waves in The Great Wave off Kanagawa from the Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji. It is also said that for van Gogh, the color blue was a “sacred symbol,” but was this an influence of Hokusai’s use of blue?

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