Title: HOKUSAI: ONE HUNDRED POETS - Scarce Pristine...
Publisher: New York City, NY: George Braziller, Inc., 1989
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Edition: 1st Edition.
1st Printing. 222 pages. Published in 1989. Retrospective monograph on subject. One of the most beautiful books on the art of Hokusai. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. A brilliant production by George Braziller: Oversize-volume format. Orange cloth boards with titles embossed on cover and spine, as issued. Art by Hokusai. Text by George Morse. Printed on pristine-white, thick uncoated stock paper in the United States to the highest standards. In pictorial DJ with titles on the cover and spine, as issued. Presents Hokusai's "One Hundred Poets". The final "ukiyo-e" Series by its greatest artist. Inspired by "One Hundred Poets", an anthology of Japanese poetry dating back to 1235 that is studied and enjoyed to this day, Hokusai planned a print to accompany each poem but completed only twenty-seven prints. Unfinished designs and sketches for sixty-four more exist, and are presented in book form for the very first time alongside the original texts and felicitous English translations. George Morse's commentary on the poet, the poem, and the print is insightful and illuminating. "Spectacular. Whether showing nude women divers struggling with their catch while a male crew leers from a nearby boat or the carefree rapture of a leisurely group of men and women observing cherry blossoms at their peak, Hokusai captures with drama and delicacy sublime and ridiculous states" (Publishers Weekly). Ukiyo-e, which literally means "pictures of the floating world", was the art of the common people. It was not folk or primitive art nor was it royal court art, either. Like the photograph today, it could be infinitely reproduced as public demand dictated, and typically presented Japanese life and rituals, scenery and the four seasons, iconic portraits and landscapes. Perhaps the best term for it is "artisanal", as it depended on the mastery of one's craft (rather than "artistic vision"). Great art of the most exquisite and delicate kind, dazzling virtuosity melded to a master craftsman's innate apprehension of The Beautiful, this is an absolute "must-have" title for Hokusai and Japanese art lovers/collectors. This title is an art book classic. As far as we know, this is the only copy of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. All other copies available online are subsequent printings. A scarce copy thus. 89 plates. One of the greatest artists of all time. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO HIROSHIGE TITLE IN OUR CATALOG) ISBN 0807612138. Bookseller Inventory # 14586
Synopsis: This lavishly illustrated, oversized (17" x 10") book brings together the last major print series of the celebrated Japanese artist Hokusai (1760-1849) and the Japanese poetry that inspired these beautiful prints.
Whether showing semi-nude women abalone divers struggling with their catch while a male crew of shriveled old salts leers from a nearby boat, or the carefree rapture of a leisurely group of men and women observing cherry blossoms at their peak, Hokusai captures, with drama and delicacy, sublime and ridiculous states. The artist's simplicity, though deceptive, is also remarkable: he illustrates a poem about a lovers' seaside tryst with a magnificently imposing yet unadorned sailing vessel, its small window offering a coy glimpse of the fortunate couple inside.
Each of the 111 color prints (as well as 41 black-and-white sketches of projected prints apparently never completed) is accompanied by the poem, in Japanese and English, a biographical note on the poet and by Peter Morse's comments on literary and artistic intention and execution.
About the Author: Peter Morse is Research Associate at the Honolulu Academy of Arts. A renowned connoisseur of Japanese prints, he is currently completing the catalogue raissoné of Hokusai's work.
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