Thirty color reproductions bound in a handy postcard collection.
Oversized postcards measure 6½ x 4¾ in.
Published with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Born a commoner, Katsushika Hokusai passionately pursued art for most of his life and by the time of his death at age eighty-nine was an artist of great renown. And yet his long life was not enough—with each decade he believed his communion with nature grew and his art took on greater spirituality.
Moving constantly (more than ninety residences), creating profusely (tens of thousands of works), and with each phase of his life reinventing himself and taking a new name, Hokusai mastered and pioneered artistic styles of late Edo-period Japan. Beginning with ukiyo-e, or “pictures of the floating world,” he created woodblock prints of figures under the direction of Katsukawa Shunshō. After his master’s death and an ensuing series of events, he took the name Hokusai and shifted his focus to nature, which he would continue for the rest of his life. In his old age, his most celebrated period, he called himself Gakyō Rōjin, or “Old Man Mad about Painting.”
Hokusai’s depictions of nature are beloved for the fine skill they required in composition, color, and line, as well as their more intangible qualities: the distillation of nature in a precise moment. His mastery is found everywhere in his paintings and prints: in a trilling waterfall or cresting wave, the gathering mist or the slanting rain, the fluttering dragonfly or the diving cuckoo.