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The Art of Hokusai

25 June to 30 September 2003

The woodblock print designer Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1848) is one of Japan’s most celebrated artists. During a hugely productive artistic career that spanned seventy years, he created an astonishing range of works, including prints of beautiful women, landscapes, flowers and animals, as well as illustrated books and artists’ manuals. Highly successful in Japan during his lifetime, he was also the first Japanese artist to become popular in the West in the late nineteenth century, where striking designs like ‘The Great Wave’ made an enormous impact on European artists such as Manet, Van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec.

This exhibition features 75 of Hokusai’s finest prints and printed books, acquired by Sir Alfred Chester Beatty in the 1950s after his move to Dublin, and gives a fascinating insight into the extraordinary breadth of Hokusai’s work in the field of woodblock print design. Highlights include a selection of his famous views of Mount Fuji and rare examples of the exquisite, privately published prints known as surimono.