Publication Date: 30/09/2021 ISBN: 9780714124896 Category:

Hokusai: Great Picture Book of Everything

Timothy Clark

Publisher: British Museum Press
Publication Date: 30/09/2021 ISBN: 9780714124896 Category:




Shortlisted for Exhibition Catalogue of the Year in the British Book Design and Production Awards 2022.


‘Hokusai: The Great Picture Book of Everything… is both an important contribution to the existing scientific knowledge of the work of this outstanding Japanese artist and an important illustrative source for researchers representing such fields as art history, sinology, Japanese studies, Korean studies, cultural anthropology and cognitive anthropology. For a reader who is not professionally connected with any of the scientific disciplines, Hokusai’s mastery of drawing may prove to be an inspiration to broaden their knowledge in the field of history of art and history of culture.’ – Ethos, quarterly magazine


A landmark publication of a major new discovery of over 100 drawings by foremost Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai. Acquired by the British Museum in 2020, these previously unpublished drawings had been forgotten for over 70 years.

Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) is considered by many to be Japan’s greatest artist. During his seventy-year career, he produced a considerable oeuvre of some 3,000 colour prints, illustrations for over 200 books, hundreds of drawings and over 1,000 paintings. These 103 exciting and exquisite small drawings were made for an unpublished book called Great Picture Book of Everything – featuring wide-ranging subjects from depictions of religious, mythological, historical and literary figures to animals, birds, flowers and other natural phenomena, as well as landscapes. They are dominated by subjects that relate to ancient China and India, and also Southeast and Central Asia. Many subjects found in the collection are not found in previous Hokusai works, including fascinating imaginings of the origin of human culture in ancient China.

This beautifully produced book draws on the latest research, illustrating the complete set of drawings, published for the first time.

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