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Caocao Before the Battle of Chibi, 1847 by Hokusai

This is one of the warrior pictures that represent Hokusai's very last years. Caocao, a warrior of Chinese state of Wei in the Three Kingdoms period, is shown in a heroic pose on board a boat on the eve of the battle of Chibi(A.D 208), when he is said to have composed a well-know poem. The treatment of the figure is detailed and the coloring cheerful, with the modern feeling characteristic of Hokusai's late work. The colors of boat and water, however, are rather subdued; attention is paid to the effects of light and shadow created by the moonlight, and the treatment of the water has a Western-style atmosphere. In a sense, the work sums up the major characteristic, and appeal, of the brush paintings of the artist's last period. It was done in 1849, when Hokusai was eighty-eight.