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Katsushika Hokusai

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Katsushika Hokusai
Edo Period (17th-19th centuries) Miyagawa Graphic Arts
(Tokyo, Japan, October 31, 1760 - May 10, 1849, Tokyo, Japan)

He is famous for works of ukiyo-e ('pictures of the floating world') in painting and printmaking. He had a long career of over 70 years in diverse media and styles. He studied painting of Ming period (1368-1644) in China to the styles of the Kano school, Sumiyoshi school, Rinpa painting, and his contemporaries of the Edo period (1600-1868) in Japan; he also learned from Western-style painting. Object types and media included nikuhitsuga (polychrome or ink paintings); surimono ('printed things'; small-edition woodblock prints) and nishikie (polychrome prints); woodblocks for eirihon (illustrated books) and kyoka ehon (illustrated books of poems called kyoka); and printed book illustrations for kibyoshi ('yellow cover' books, often moralizing tales and adventures) and yomihon ('reading books,' sometimes historical novels). He was one of the main shunga (erotic picture) artists of the Edo period. Hokusai is thought to have made in all at least 30,000 drawings and the illustrations for 500 books. Since the late 19th century, his work has had a significant impact on Western artists, including Gauguin and van Gogh.


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