A Life in Drawing
Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) was the most prolific and diverse artist of Japan’s Edo period, with a body of work reputed to include more than 30,000 drawings, paintings and prints. This book traces the career of this child from a working-class district of old Tokyo, then known as Edo, evoking the special atmosphere of this great city and of Japanese life, when Japan – closed to foreigners – developed in a vacuum a powerfully original culture. Its urban centers enjoyed increasing wealth and stability, leading to a flourishing culture of art and pleasure-seeking. Woodblock prints of the genre known as ukiyo-e – ‘images of the floating world’ – became defining images of the age.