When I was thinking of a visual representation of how today feels, these Japanese wave paintings came to mind. There is a glimmer of hope that we are on the top of the curve here.
The Great Wave off Kanagawa is a woodblock print by the Japanese ukiyo-e artist Hokusai. It was published sometime between 1829 and 1833 in the late Edo period as the first print in Hokusai's series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji. It is Hokusai's most famous work and one of the most recognizable works of Japanese art in the world.
The image depicts an enormous wave threatening three fishing boats off the coast of the town of Kanagawa (the present-day city of Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture) while Mount Fuji rises in the background. While sometimes assumed to be a tsunami, the wave is more likely to be a large rogue wave. As in many of the prints in the series, it depicts the area around Mount Fuji under particular conditions, and the mountain itself appears in the background. Throughout the series are dramatic uses of Berlin blue pigment.
“If heaven had granted me five more years, I could have become a real painter.” Hokusai Katsushika