Sketches of Mount Fuji
Color on Paper
A work by an artist who actually climbed Mount Fuji at the beginning of the nineteenth century.
19세기초 실제로 후지산에 오른 화가가 그린 작품
In the Edo period, climbing Mount Fuji became popular among the common people, too. However, the ascent of a lofty peak 3,776 meters high was a serious affair. Accordingly, small hills called Fujizuka were constructed throughout the city of Edo in locations from which Mount Fuji could be seen and many people made pseudo-ascents, worshipping the mountain there.
In 1795 (Kansei 7), on the way back from Omi Hino, Koizumi Ayaru met a group belonging to the Mito clan at the foot of Mount Fuji and they decided to head for the summit together. They succeeded in reaching the summit and Ayaru made elaborate sketches of scenes he came across while climbing and at the top of the mountain. This is the fair copy he made later on a picture scroll. Each one of the landscapes on the scroll reveals a realism that only someone who actually made the ascent could have expressed. It is indeed a work that deserves special mention in the history of Japanese painting.