Art fans will be interested to learm that 103 newly-rediscovered drawings by Japanese artist, Katsushika Hokusai, have been acquired by the British Museum in London. Created in 1829 as illustrations for an unpublished book, Great Picture Book of Everything, they are available to the public to view online.
Hokusai (1760-1849) is considered by many to be Japan’s greatest artist, and he has been recognized internationally since the Japonisme era of the 1870s, two decades after his death. During his 70-year career, he produced 3000 colour prints, illustrations for over 200 books, hundreds of drawings and over 1000 paintings.
Formerly owned by the collector and art nouveau jeweller, Henri Vever, who died in 1842, the newly-discovered drawings were last publicly recorded at an auction in Paris in 1948, and resurfaced there last year. They are thought to have been in a private collection in France in the intervening years. This acquisition now joins the British Museum’s extensive collection of Hokusai works, which is one of the most comprehensive outside Japan.
They bring the museum's total number of paintings, prints, drawings and illustrated books to over 1000. They contain depictions of religious, mythological, historical, and literary figures, as well as landscapes, animals, birds and flowers and other natural phenomena.