11 May 2017

Hokusai : Beyond the Great Wave. Japanese Art at Grays

Clear day with a southern breeze (Red Fuji) from Thirty-Six
Views of Mt Fuji. Colour woodblock, 1831. On display 25 May – 13 August at The British Museum


This May the British Museum will present "Hokusai : Beyond the Great Wave" an exhibition focusing on the later works of Katsushika Hokusai (1760- 1849) one of Japan's most famous and influential artists. His long career displays a fascination with the natural geography of Japan, most notably with the great Mount Fuji.

Hokusai is best known for his woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, many of which will be on display. The mountain became something of a personal obsession for the artist, as with many who came before him.

A popular subject in Japanese Art, Mount Fuji has a long history of cultural and religious significance. One of the earliest incarnations of its myth is The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, in which the elixir of life is burnt at the summit. It was said that this is the smoke which can sometimes be seen rising from the top of the mountain (which is in fact an active volcano!)

To celebrate the upcoming exhibition and the enduring influence of Mount Fuji on Japanese Art, we have selected some beautiful pieces here at Grays Antiques, depicting or inspired by the mountain and by Japan's natural beauty.

Wood sculpture depicting dragon atop Mount Fuji, lacquer interior. Two views. Japan, 19th Century. Offered by Peter Sloane 

Iron inlaid miniature case dating from the Meiji period. Offered by David Bowden

One of a Pair of six- panel folding Japanese Screens, c1890-1920. Offered By David Bowden

Rare Satsuma dish, painted central landscape depicting Mount Fuji and the Moon, gilt square seal mark Offered by Anita Gray

     'Hokusai: Beyond the Great Wave' runs from 25th May -13th August  at The British Museum.

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