Hokusai’s Great Wave

This morning’s staff breakfast introduced the new Room 3 exhibition of Hokusai’s Great Wave.

Timothy Clark, Curator of Japanese Collections, spoke about the production of the print and the political and social context of Japan in the 1830’s.  Japan was just opening its borders to the rest of the world, and the increasing cultural exchanges were making a mark on Japanese art.  Influences from Western art can be seen in the style and technology used by Hokusai in the Great Wave. 

Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849), Under the Wave off Kanagawa (detail). Colour woodblock print. Japan, Edo period, c. 1831. Acquired with the assistance of The Art Fund.

Find out more about the print, and read the curator’s comments, on the British Museum’s online collection database.

The Great Wave was also recently featured in the British Museum and BBC series A History of the World in 100 Objects.  You can listen to the podcast or read the transcript on the AHTW website.

Shezza Edris