Hokusai's Brush

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Hokusai's Brush was a companion to the Freer Gallery of Art's year-long exhibition that celebrated the artist's fruitful career. The Freer, home to the world's largest collection of paintings by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai, put on view for the first time in a decade his incredible and rarely seen sketches, drawings, and paintings. Together with essays that explore his life and career, Hokusai's Brush offers an in-depth breakdown of each painting, providing amazing commentary that highlight Hokusai's mastery and detail. While best known for his woodblock print series "Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji" and particularly the widely recognizable "The Great Wave off Kanagawa," Hokusai is said to have produced 30,000 pieces of art. He lived to 90 years old, and his last words were reportedly to say that if heaven were to grant him another five or ten years, then he could become a true painter. Every stunning page of Hokusai's Brush is a testament to the humility of that statement, emphasizing his artistry and skill, the likes of which shaped the Impressionist movement by inspiring artists such as Monet, Degas, and van Gogh.

Museum Story

The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art, opened to the public in 1923, a gift to the nation from Charles Lang Freer. The Gallery contains an extensive collection of oriental art, prints, sculpture and silk panels, as well as a major group of 19th and 20th century American works.


  • Paperback
  • 156 pages, 86 color and 160 black & white photographs
  • 11.75" x 5.75"
  • Written by Frank Feltens, Japan Foundation Assistant Curator of Japanese Art at the Freer Gallery

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