MFA Collection Books

Hokusai's Landscapes
The Complete Series

Sarah E. Thompson
Format Regular Price Member Price
Hardcover $45.00 $40.50

ISBN 978-0-87846-866-9, 216 pages, 10 x 11 in., 170 color illustrations

A delightful look at Hokusai's landscape series, drawn from the largest collection of Japanese prints outside Japan

The best known of all Japanese artists, Katsushika Hokusai was active as a painter, book illustrator, and print designer throughout his ninety-year life. Yet his most famous works of all—color woodblock landscape prints issued in series—were produced within a relatively short time, in an amazing burst of creative energy from about 1830 to 1836. These ingenious designs, combining influences from schools of Japanese and Chinese art as well as European sources, display the artist's acute powers of observation and trademark humor, often showing ordinary people from all walks of life going about their business in the foreground of famous scenic vistas.

Hokusai’s landscapes not only revolutionized Japanese printmaking but within a few decades of his death had become icons of world art as well. With stunning color reproductions of works from the largest collection of Japanese prints outside Japan, this book examines the magnetic appeal of Hokusai’s designs and the circumstances of their creation. All published prints of his eight major landscape series—on subjects ranging from waterfalls, islands, bodies of water, and bridges, to scenes inspired by classical poetry—are included.

About the Author

Sarah E. Thompson is Curator, Japanese Art, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.