Horse Pattern (Koma shobu), from the series Horses. Artist: Katsushika Hokusai (Japanese, Tokyo (Edo) 1760-1849 Tokyo (Edo)). Culture: Japan. Dimensions: 8 1/4 x 7 3/8 in. (21 x 18.7 cm). Date: 1822.
This surimono is one of thirty-three prints in a set that was commissioned for the year of the horse in 1822. However, the images are not of horses but are conjured up from words associated with the animal. The print illustrates a fan and a tobacco pouch above a tissue case. The tobacco pouch is made of deerskin dyed with a pattern of horses and dandelions in a technique known as shobukawa.
Hokusai's intentionally paradoxical signature reads Fusenkyo Iitsu hitsu ("painted by Iitsu in his Nonpainting Studio"). Museum: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA.