Hokusai, who lived at the end of the Edo era (1615-1868), had the most productive life. His drawings have long disappeared for they couldn't survive the printing process, so it is quite extraordinary that the British Museum rediscovered illustrations he created in 1863 for the unpublished book The Great Picture Book of Everything.
As the project didn't go ahead, the drawings were stored away before being sold to a French collector at the beginning of the 20th century. They were then lost and rediscovered by an art expert at an auction three years ago.
Hokusai, who had never left Japan, used his imagination, sense of humour and adventure to depict the outside world. His drawings feature wide
This show doesn't offer an explosion of colours but instead a selection of postcard-sized exquisite black and white drawings in a dimly lit room. It may not be spectacular at first but you inexorably get absorbed in Hokusai's world of strokes and lines. He explores the origin of medicine and printmaking. He takes you on adventures through Chinese folks tales, stories of Buddhist gods and Indian kings. The drawings' combination of humour, poetry and humanity is deeply inspiring.
|What||Hokusai: The Great Picture Book of Everything|
|Where||British Museum, Great Russell St, London, WC1B 3DG | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Holborn (underground)|
30 Sep 21 – 30 Jan 22, And from 10:30 to 18:30 at weekends
|Price||£9 to £11|
|Website||Click here for more information and to book|