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Hokusai's Mount Fuji

Date: 2007 April 02 16:11

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The nice people at Abrams have sent us details of a new book they're publishing Hokusai, the artist who created one of the most famous bits of Japanese artwork, often called Tsunami by Hokusai or The Under the wave off Kanagawa. The book is printed excellent quality paper. At £15.95 it's superb value for money especially considering it's all in colour. It's due out 30th April 2007. We only wish the book was bigger so that they could print the artwork larger, but I guess we've been spoiled by looking at anime artbooks all these years. The book has some great examples of Japanese culture in the period and come highly recommend by the Otaku News crew.

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US: $29.95 / Can. $35.95 / UK £15.95
ISBN 13: 978-0-8109-9340-2
ISBN 10: 0-8109-9340-6

Press release as follows:

Hokusai's Mount Fuji: The Complete Views in Color

Hokusai’s Mount Fuji
The Complete Views in Color

Jocelyn Bouquillard

30 April 2007 £15.95

This complete collection of Hokusai’s famous views of Mount Fuji is the only high quality reproduction of these engravings, long considered the Japanese master’s greatest works. Taken from the best engravings available and shown in vibrant colour, this authoritative volume is the first of it’s kind since 1830. Hokusai’s influence extended far beyond Japan, even to French impressionists including Degas, Monet and Toulouse-Lautrec. Each illustration is accompanied by detailed notes placing the work in its cultural and historical context and exploring the symbolic themes running through Hokusai’s landscapes.

At first Hokusai published thirty-six views of Mount Fuji, employing a new colour ink, Prussian blue, which until then was unknown in Japan. A few years later, because of their extraordinary success, he added ten new engravings called ura-Fuji, highlighted by a black outline. Because of it’s format, the ink employed and the theme, the series was an editorial novelty. For once the landscape was the main subject of the painting, not just the background. Mount Fuji, the sacred mountain, is represented from all his sides, close-up, far-off, under different kinds of weather and light.

The original publisher, Nishimuraya Eijudoo, had taken a big risk because of the cult surrounding Mount Fuji, especially because of the amazing talent of Hokusai, the pay-off was enormous. Today this beautiful book presents, in full colour, the thirty-six views of Mount Fuji, plus the second series of ten views which constitutes a unique editorial event.

In HOKUSAI’S MOUNT FUJI an introductory text presents Hokusai’s fascination for nature, focusing on the development of landscape prints, followed by a more detailed presentation of the Mount Fuji series. Before each engraving comes a note listing the specifications and description of the drawing that focuses on the symbolism of the images and places the work and in its cultural and historical context.

JOCELYN BOUQUILLARD is the curator at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in the Photography and Prints department. He is an expert on Japanese prints and his specialty is landscape prints.

Source: Abrams Books
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