Hokusai

Richard Lane, Author Studio Books $50 (0p) ISBN 978-0-525-24455-4
Hokusai's (1760-1849) best-known images--majestic views of Mount Fuji, the foaming crest of an ocean wave about to burst--seem quintessentially Japanese, yet, as Lane's monograph clearly demonstrates, they barely suggest the range of this prolific and inventive printmaker, book illustrator and painter. Crammed with over 360 plates (one-third in color), this scholarly album presents an artist of many moods and styles, from poignantly lyrical to startlingly dramatic, from stylishly traditional to poetic to explicitly erotic. Hokusai's 15 volumes of sketchbooks, sampled here, are an encyclopedic record of Far Eastern customs, personalities, legends and material civilization. He invariably brought an empathic touch to his subject, whether a Zen patriarch, roadside entertainers, lovers or flying swallows; even inanimate objects live under his gaze. Lane ( Images from the Floating World ) has produced a remarkably comprehensive critical-biographical study. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
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