Thunderstorm Beneath the Summit

Title: Thunderstorm beneath the summit
Creator: Hokusai (1760-1849)
Date: c.1830
Work Type:
color woodcut
ink on paper
Wetmore Print Collection, Art History Dept, Cummings Arts Center, Connecticut College, New LondonDonated by Prof. Caroline Black, Botany Dept, Connecticut College

This piece of art Thunderstorm Beneath the Summit, also known as Rainstorm Beneath the Summit or Black Fuji is one of the great woodcut prints created by Hokusai in his Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji series. From the top to the bottom, we could see clouds, hills, lighting, trees and the Fuji mountain rises from the bottom to the top of the paper. The summit of the mountain is higher than another objects in this painting. The tress are colored in complete blacks to bring our attentions to the mountain, which is also painted in dark colors. The snow on the top of the summit is the only bright part of the mountain.

In the Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji series, Hokusai created a few drawings under the topic of Mount Fuji. However, this one would stand out of those paintings. Different from other Fuji mountains in this series which usually painted in blue colors to show the peaceful and elegance of the mountain, Hokusai used dark black colors and basic shapes to depict another appearance of the Mt. Fuji. We can easily tell that in this painting, the Fuji mountain seems really heavy. Together with the lightning that crosses the sky, it shows how powerful the nature is. By putting the lighting lower than the mountain, the Fuji mountain seems even tall under comparison. Hokusai also brings our sight to the the top half of the painting by making the color of the top part brighter than the bottom part.

36 Views of Mt. Fuji series (
Connecticut College ASIAN Art Collections (
spec_coll_japanese_prints.xlsx (

Author: Elvis Jiang

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