Widely referred to in recent times as 'Red Fuji', this print, along with the 'Great Wave', is one of the most iconic and instantly recognised by Hokusai. Here, Mount Fuji takes centre stage in a landscape with no sign of human presence. There is only the mountain occupying a large proportion of the design - rising up monumentally against a blue sky patterned with high wispy clouds sometimes aptly called 'sardine clouds' (iwashigumo), which gently drift across in the breeze. Depicted is the eastern side of the mountain with its traces of snow remaining at the peak, at the moment the rays of the early morning sun hit the upper slopes of the mountain, basking it in a warm glow. The 'southern breeze' (gaifu) of the print's title is a phenomenon associated with late summer and Hokusai has gone to great lengths to capture its essence through his composition, colour scheme and the printer's use of effects.
This print is in the collections of many museums around the world and similar impressions are in:
The Art Institute of Chicago (accession number (1952.341), go to: http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/artwork/77328
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (accession number 34.314), go to: https://www.mfa.org/collections/search
The Victoria & Albert Museum, London (accession number E.4813-1916), go to: http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O129067/south-wind-clear-dawn-woodblock-print-katsushika-hokusai/