At first Hokusai published thirty-six views, where a new kind of ink was employed, the Prussian blue, until then unknown in Japan.
A few years later, because of its extraordinary success, he added ten new engravings called ura-Fuji, highlighted by a black outline. Because of its format, the ink employed and the theme, the series was an editorial novelty.
For once the landscape is the main subject of a painting, not only the background.
Mount Fuji, the sacred mountain, is represented from all his sides, close-up or far-off, under different kinds of weather and light.
The original publisher, Nishimuraya Eijudo, had taken a big risk but because of the cult surrounding Mount Fuji and especially because of the amazing talent of Hokusai, the pay-off was enormous.
Today, Seuil and BNF undertake this important project of gathering, presenting and reproducing in a full color beautiful book the thirty-six views of Mount Fuji, plus the second series of ten views, which constitutes a unique editorial event.
In this book, an introductory text presents Hokusai fascination for nature with a focus on the development of landscape prints.
A more detailed presentation of the Mt. Fuji series follows. Before each engraving comes a note listing the specifications and a description of the drawing that focuses on the symbolism of the images and places the work in its cultural and historical context.