Shell Gathering

HokusaiEdo period, early 19th century

Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts

Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts
Osaka, Japan

This scene of springtime shell-gathering was hand-painted by Katsushika Hokusai, one of the most well known ukiyo-e artists of the late Edo period. Hokusai captured images of women and children in a vast space, emphasizing distance with a colorful touch. The presentation of spaciousness and the shading, effectively utilizing an ink gradation in the distant mountains and rocks, are both signs of western painting influences mastered by the artist through studying copper-plate prints, for example. The women with animated expressions are typical Hokusai beauties.


  • Title: Shell Gathering
  • Creator: Katsushika Hokusai
  • Creator Lifespan: 1760/1849
  • Date Created: Edo period, early 19th century
  • Location Created: Japan
  • Title(Japanese): 潮干狩図
  • Physical Dimensions: w86.3 x h54.3 cm
  • Period(Japanese): 江戸 19世紀初期
  • Donor(Japanese): 中島小一郎氏寄贈
  • Classification of Important Cultural Properties of Japan: Important Cultural Property
  • Artist Name(Japanese): 葛飾北斎
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts
  • Medium: Color on silk

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