From our team here at NGV, we would like to express our very best wishes to our community at this time. We are currently closed to the public and will reopen on Saturday, 27 June, 2020.

In line with Victorian Chief Health Officer’s guidance, the NGV will implement a variety of public health and physical distancing measures including free timed ticketing, appropriate queue management and increased deep cleaning of facilities, as well as increased hand sanitiser stations.

We encourage you to continue to visit our website and follow #NGVEveryDay on social media for updates on our reopening and daily inspiration.

We are very grateful for the loyalty of the NGV community and look forward to welcoming you back soon.


Katsushika Hokusai The great wave off Kanagawa (c.1830)

Katsushika HOKUSAI
The great wave off Kanagawa (c. 1830)

With his unique social observations, innovative approach to design and mastery of the brush, Katsushika Hokusai created some of the most iconic, engaging images in the history of Japanese art. The Great wave off Kanagawa, from Hokusai’s Thirty-six views of Mt Fuji series, is considered his finest work, and early impressions of it that maintain sharp lines and vibrant colours are some of the rarest and most sought after of all ukiyo-e woodblock prints.

In addition to the work’s sheer graphic beauty there is a compelling tension between the monstrous wave, towering above with its impending crash of water, and the graceful lines of a diminutive Mt Fuji in the distance. We sense a dramatic struggle between man and nature in the fisherman huddling in their boats, riding down one huge swell before diving straight into the next. These swift boats, called Oshiokuribune, took a daily fresh delivery of fish and dried sardines to fish markets around Edo Bay.