100 Views of Mt Fuji

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Gekko’s 100 Views of Mt. Fuji may well be his most masterful print series. It certainly contains many superb images, some of which depict Fuji san in an idyllic setting, some of which place it in an historical context, and some show it as artistic whimsy. At times it can be difficult to see Fuji at first glance, but patient viewing will reveal its presence. It appears that only 95 completed prints exist, there are black and white ‘pulls’ of 3 other images but the final 2 appear not to have been cut. The prints from the series are undated and without other information such as the publisher. All are oban size in horizontal/landscape format. Three other prints with this series title in a pink cartouche also exist, these are an earlier set and although oban size are easily recognised by their vertical/portrait format.These prints can be found in the orphan print section.

The 100 Views of Mt. Fuji were published by Matsumoto Heikichi around 1900 and reputedly some prints from the series won a Gold Prize or Medal at the 1904 World’s Fair in St Louis, although the source of this frequently stated information is unknown and the Missouri Historical Society records of the World’s fair do not mention Gekko winning an award for the series, although they do note he won a silver medal for his painting ‘Pleasure Boat on Sumida in Cherry Season’.

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