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Johnson Collection of Japanese Prints

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Katsushika Hokusai, Japanese, (1760–1849)
Ten Thousand Sketches by Hokusai: Ehon (book), volume II, 1815
Ink on Paper
9 in. x 6 1/4 in. (22.86 cm x 15.88 cm)


Object Type: Book
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Creation Place: Asia, Japan
Credit Line: Gift of the Johnson Family Trust
Accession Number: 2003.6.84


Commentary
A gift of 16 volumes - 15 volumes of the Manga and an additional copy of Volume X.

Some say Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) was Japan's most talented artist. He was best known for his Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji series that made him famous, but Hokusai was skilled in various artistic genres and it is difficult to classify him as one type of artist. Not only was he prolific in single sheet prints but he also created numerous books of manga, sketches of various subjects ranging from everyday items to the supernatural. One particular print shows a goat-like creature with three eyes looking out of its side, the suggestion of four more eyes on the front of its face and two pairs of horns, one at the top of its head and the other coming out of its back. It is posed in a very animalistic position, as if it was grazing but without a background to place it in context. The style speaks to Hokusai's fascination with the grotesque, and his impressive imagination. His use of fine lines depicts the detail of the fur along the back, hoofs and tail. Hokusai was able to take a familiar animal, the goat, and turn it into something supernatural and fantasized.

Marks
No marks.

Medium
Black, blue and orange ink woodblock prints on paper, bound as an ehon (book).

Object Description
Volume II from Hokusai's set of Manga, intended as primers for aspiring artists. In this series of 15 volumes, designed from around 1813 through his final years, Hokusai produced a veritable pictorial encyclopedia of Far Eastern life and legend. The series was originally intended as a set of copybooks for art students but soon made the artist's name known throughout Japan and, eventually, throughout the world. Volume II includes 50 illustrations with black, blue and orange inks. Depicts people, landscapes, birds, animals, bugs, and plants. Page 1 and 2 are text. 53 pages. Blue binding.

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