Katsushika Hokusai (c. October 31, 1760-May 10, 1849) was born in Edo, Japan (present-day Tokyo) and began painting and drawing at the age of six. He is widely considered to be one of the most important and influential Japanese artists of his time, particularly in the ukiyo-e school of painting of the Edo Period. Earning early work as a woodblock carver, Hokusai made woodblocks and colored prints of portraits of actors and courtesans. Soon after, he broke away from this style and began developing his talents as an ukiyo-e painter, focusing on Japanese landscapes and genre scenes. At the peak of his career, Hokusai completed his famous series, “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji,” which became so popular that he eventually added ten more to the series. Hokusai’s influence reached France, where artists such as Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir were inspired by his artistic talents and choices of subjects. Hokusai’s influence can be seen throughout the history of not only Eastern art, but also of Western painting and drawing.
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