This big and beautiful book presents a comprehensive survey of the work of one of Japan's greatest and most influential artists, together with a collection of essays that focus on a key aspects of the master's career. The book opens with an introductory essay by Gian Carlo Calza presenting an overview of the changing world into which Hokusai was born and through which he lived. This is followed by a series of essays, composed by distinguished Western and Japanese scholars, that present new research on a range of crucial areas of interest in Hokusai studies. These form a context for the core of the book, which embodies a retrospective of Hokusai's entire career, divided into seven chapters. Each chapter provides a succinct account of a phase in Hokusai's life, followed by a series of the finest and most representative works of that period. Great care has been taken throughout to choose for reproduction the best-preserved original prints that reveal Hokusai's mastery of line and colour to full advantage.
This magnificent pictorial survey of Hokusai's prints, paintings and drawings is the first publication in English to make such a rich selection widely available, and to demonstrate the extraordinary range and quality of Hokusai's achievement. The final component of the book is a detailed scholarly commentary on each illustration that provides not only the necessary technical information but also a revealing analysis of style, color, composition and motif.
"'This beautiful monograph... not only provides a comprehensive overview of Hokusai's work but also analyses his influence on Western artists. Immaculately reproduced artwork combined with research from both Western and Japanese scholars as well as intelligent commentary accompanying each of the amazing illustrations make this book worth every last penny.' (Creative Review); 'Comprehensive and splendidly illustrated... It is such as visually stimulating read that this has to be the art book I would most like to find under the Christmas tree.' (Frank Whitford, The Sunday Times, naming Hokusai as one of the top 5 art books of 2003); 'Superb reproductions make this probably the best introduction to this artist you can find.' (Wall Street Journal Europe); 'Gives us a true idea of the great range of Hokusai's work and its enormous variety... the finest of the new publications on Hokusai.' (The Japan Times); 'Even people who think they know Hokusai's work well will find surprises in the thoughtfully arranged book, which concludes with some striking examples of French art inspired by Hokusai.' (New York Times Book Review); 'This definitive compendium of beautifully reproduced prints, paintings, and illustrations by [Hokusai]... will change forever the way we look at his work. A series of scholarly, accessible essays - admirably free of jargon - provides illuminating anecdotes and fascinating information about Hokusai's milieu, and guides us through the stages of his lifelong obsession with art.' (Washington Post)"
Gian Carlo Calza: 'The Universal Hokusai'; Roger S. Keyes: 'The Young Hokusai'; Matthi Forrer: 'Western Influences on Hokusai's Art'; John M. Rosenfield: ' "The maker is Master": Hokusai the Individualist in his Two Handbooks on Painting'; Richard Lane: 'Sorrows of Love Overcome: the Erotic Art of Hokusai'; Asano Shugo: 'Art and the Literary Circles of Surimono: the Genroku kasen kai awase and Umazukushi series'; Tsuji Nobuo: 'In a World of Fantasy: the Late Works of Hokusai'; Tadashi Kobayashi: 'Hokusai's Letters'; I In the Sign of the Dragon: the Shunro Period; II Individualism and Autonomy: the Sori Period; III Maturity: the Hokusai Period; IV Handbooks, Handbooks, Handbooks: the Taito Period; V The Landscape Revolution: the Iitsu Period; VI Beyond the Impossible: the Manji Period; VII Beyond the Limits of the Western Sea: Hokusai and Japonisme; List of Works; Glossary; Bibliography; Index