11 years after the exhibition that introduced Katsushira Hokusai to a wider public in Italy, his complete works curated by Gian Carlo Calza, one of the greatest experts on japanese art and culture.
Over 500 works including 60 paintings, 270 prints, 100 illustrated books, 70 drawings and some hand-written letters from the maestro to his editors: an overwhelming quantity of works and documents gathered from museums and collectors around the world for the 1999 exhibition at the Palazzo Reale. Ever since then public curiosity about Hokusai (1760-1849), a prolific artist and poet, has by no means died down and it is in this climate of continued interest that this volume dealing with his life and works has once more been made available. His 36 views of Mount Fuji, including The big wave, which has become a symbol of Japanese art, the wealth of styles cultivated during a relatively brief production period, the incredible variety of themes explored by a sole artist, but also his influence on western art during the Japan period all mark Hokusai out as exceptional. His works are a journey through Japanese culture, style and tradition, as well as being a reflection on artistic research, freedom and the humanity of the man as perceived by 19th century artists and writers in Paris. A timeless myth, to quote Hokusai himself: “When I am a hundred then I may truly have achieved a divine and wonderful dimension”.