“The Great Wave,” Katsushika Hokusai’s woodblock print from the early 1830s, may be the most famous artwork in Japanese history, and its popularity isn’t cresting anytime soon.
The artwork exists in that rare stratosphere of images that are both instantly recognizable and internationally famous. “The Great Wave” has gone viral over time, first circulating the old-fashioned way—via traders and tall ships in the 19th century. Since then, the woodcut has been called an inspir...
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