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A Great Wave of Hokusai Drawings Resurfaced at the British Museum

Atlas Obscura – “In 1829, when the celebrated Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai was almost 70 years old, he created more than 100 drawings of a dazzling array of subjects: playful cats, serene landscapes, even severed heads. Hokusai’s fame continued to grow after his death in 1849, and the suite of small, elaborate drawings was last purchased a century later, at a Paris auction in 1948. Then it disappeared from the public eye. Now, a total of 103 drawings have resurfaced. According to Antiques Trade Gazette, the Paris auction house Piasa sold them in 2019 to the London-based dealer Israel Goldman, who later sold them to the British Museum. Additions to Hokusai’s prolific body of work can be major news, and the suite is receiving unprecedented attention and scholarly interest. “This is definitely one of the greatest discoveries of Hokusai works in a long time,” says Frank Feltens, an assistant curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art. “They look like they are in pristine condition, there’s an incredible level of detail, and a variety of subject matter. You get a sampling of virtually any area in which Hokusai painted: figure painting, animals, landscapes. You get glimpses of everything.”…

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