A fresh exploration of Hokusai’s artistic and spiritual journey during the last three decades of his life. Published by Thames & Hudson and the British Museum.
Katsushika Hokusai, one of Japan’s supreme masters of art, enjoyed an extensive and fascinating career, one that spanned many decades of Japan’s Edo period, during which the arts and culture thrived. But Hokusai famously believed that his creative power would only grow stronger with age, that each passing year would bring his work closer to ‘a divine state’. This spectacular new publication charts the last 30 years of Hokusai’s long life, combining new scholarship on the artist’s later paintings and prints with approximately 300 breath-taking illustrations that showcase the culmination of his remarkable artistic development.
‘Nothing I did before the age of 70 was worthy of attention’
Hokusai’s profound artistic influence is undisputed; his celebrated painting The Great Wave is one of the most recognisable and loved images in Japanese art, and has inspired generations of artists, with the Impressionists among the most notable. But this iconic painting is only one of the captivating artworks featured in this enthralling study of Hokusai’s later oeuvre, a body of work that displays a staggering variety of subjects and media. Brush paintings, drawings, woodblock prints and illustrated books show the breadth of Hokusai’s talent, from natural landscapes and urban scenes, to portraits of dragons and eagles, mythological figures and holy men.
‘The technical mastery of the woodblock print, so intractable, simply amazes’
In an innovative approach, this fascinating edition, published by Thames and Hudson and the British Museum, maps Hokusai’s later art against the major spiritual and artistic quests of his life. Arranged thematically, essays explore a range of subjects, including the artist’s life and work in old age, his various creative techniques, and the historical period and social networks within which he worked. Particular study is also made of the imagery Hokusai created with the support of his daughter Eijo (Oi), an accomplished artist in her own right.
Published in a luxurious large format that allows for each illustration to be displayed in sumptuous, vibrant detail, this stunning volume reveals the exceptional force of Hokusai’s genius.
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