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Hokusai from the British Museum

The period between the 19th and 20th century claims to be the most progressive epoch in the development of the arts. From the flourish of woodblock prints between the 17th and19th centuries impressionism, surrealism, art nouveau and art deco emerged paving the creative path toward early modernism.

This week, we will take a look at three ongoing exhibitions in Tokyo covering these significant eras: Hokusai’s priceless collections of prints and sketches from the British Museum, art deco literature and decorative interiors, and the lovely drawings from The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter.

Hokusai from the British Museum

© Photo by Alma Reyes
Exhibition entrance, Suntory Museum of Art.

Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) is no stranger to art enthusiasts around the world. He lived for almost 90 years and is proclaimed to have produced over 30,000 paintings, sketches, woodblock prints and images for picture books.

Suntory Museum of Art is presenting “Hokusai from the British Museum―together with masterpieces of painting from collections in Japan” until June 12. It showcases about 110 selected works from over 800 pieces of the British Museum’s finest pieces by the great master. There is also a corner for collectors’ ancient works and writings, including materials about becoming an art connoisseur. The collectors and scholars made Hokusai’s works available to the British Museum and built the foundation of the collection.

Hokusai from the British Museum© Photo by British Museum, 2008,3008.1.JA The Trustees of the British Museum
Hokusai, Katsushika. Under the wave off Kanagawa (‘The Great Wave’) from the series Thirty-six Views of Mt Fuji. About 1830-33.

Visitors can see Hokusai’s emblematic works, such as Under the Wave off Kanagawa (The Great Wave, about 1830-33) and …continue reading