The Japanese artist who has been most admired in the Western world over the last century is undoubtedly Hokusai. Surprisingly, however, his work as a book-illustrator and designer of picture-books is relatively unknown.
Apart from the Manga, a series of 'random sketches' which sparkled off Japonism, and the 'One Hundred Views of Fuji', acknowledged as a supreme masterpiece, little has been published of the book prints which did more to further his reputation in Japan during his lifetime than the broadsheets and paintings. This volume is the first monograph to deal exclusively with Hokusai's prints in book form, produced over a period of seventy years. It traces the evolution of this print designs for every conceivable type of book; cheap novelette and literary classic; craftsmen's pattern-book and 'poetic topography'; and, most outstandingly, the picture-books, with little or no text, which are peculiar to Japan. Inevitably, the expression of this facet of Hokusai's talent casts new light on literary Japan with its verse-writing clubs and its novelists, and, indeed, upon the lives of the Japanese people of the time. Brief bibliographical details of each of the 272 books with one or more illustrations designed by Hokusai are listed in an Appendix which is an important feature. The illustrations throughout the text form a fascinating selection from every type of publication and include prints from rare or unique books which are now reproduced for the first time.
Published by Sotheby Parke Bernet, 1980 | Hardcover
|Rest of the World||£35.00|