A comprehensive exhibition seeks to survey the legacy and career of the first Japanese artist to be internationally recognized.

Perhaps best known for his iconic “Under the Wave Off Kanagawa (Great Wave),” Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) produced a corpus replete with countless exquisite paintings, woodblock prints, dioramas, and illustrated printed books. The rich Hokusai holdings of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston have positioned it uniquely to offer an expansive exhibition that touches on themes and moments throughout the artist’s 60-year career, with galleries dedicated to landscapes, nature, fantasy, and the “Floating World” of urban culture.

Katsushika Hokusai, “Phoenix” (detail), 1835, eight -panel folding screen, ink, color, gold leaf, sprinkled gold on paper. William Sturgis Bigelow Collection

In addition to “Under the Wave Off Kanagawa,” a highlight of the exhibition is the breathtaking “Phoenix” of 1835.  This brilliantly colored multi-paneled folding screen is absolutely magnetic. Using ink, pigment, cut gold leaf, and sprinkled gold on paper, this piece encapsulates Hokusai’s transcendent talent and craftsmanship. 
“Hokusai” opened in April and will hang until August 9.
To learn more, visit Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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