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Artwork of the Week

Artwork of the Week: Yōrō Waterfall in Mino Province

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Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), ‘Yoro Waterfall in Mino Province,’ from ‘Tour of the Waterfalls in Various Provinces,’ c. 1833, woodcut, 15 x 10 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchase/gift of the Mahonri M. Young Estate, 1959.

While Katsushika Hokusai is best known for “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” from his famous series “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji,” an equally stunning series is “Tour of the Waterfalls in Various Provinces” which houses woodblock prints like “Yōrō Waterfall in Mino Province.”

Even as “Yōrō Waterfall in Mino Province” diminishes the size of the falls to accommodate the scale of the travelers, the figures seem to acknowledge their smallness against the immensity of nature. What Hokusai takes away in height, he adds in mystique with cloud formations that create the illusion of a waterfall falling from the heavens. Intense blues and whites turn the waterfall into a thing of myth, not a new event for Yōrō Waterfall; it was first famous for a legend of water that tasted like sake, a Japanese rice wine. Hokusai captures both the majesty of the waterfall and the awe of travelers as they watch the wall of water crash to the ground.

Guest author: Maren Petersen

Past Artworks of the Week

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Artwork of the Week: Joseph Smith Triptych

May 27, 2024
On December 3, 1958, the Gold Y Chapter of the Intercollegiate Knights, a National Honorary Service Fraternity at BYU, presented this triptych to the University.
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Artwork of the Week: John the Baptist

May 20, 2024
At first glance, the abstract imagery of this work may appear unfamiliar to those unaccustomed to its sacred language. However, for Russian Orthodox Christians, this icon is a beautiful invitation to meditate on sacred doctrine.
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Artwork of the Week: Bride and Her Mirror Image

May 13, 2024
Muriel Magenta is a New Genre artist who works with installation, multimedia performance, video, and sculpture. Using an array of technologies and tools to create hybrid works, Magenta explores the interaction of media and audience.
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