Friday, February 3, 2012

Hokusai prints lost at sea?!

Seems there was, aboard the recently-capsized Costa Concordia, a collection of woodblock prints by KATSUSHIKA Hokusai (葛飾北斎). 残念ですね!Apparently they were in a spa that seems to have been on the Spagna deck, third deck down, fore, probably on the port side; not sure whether that part of the ship is actually underwater, but since the ship is submerged on the starboard side, maybe there's hope.

Hokusai (1760–1849) was from Edo and, although he's probably best known for his 36 Views of Mount Fuji (of which in fact there are 46, plus another set of 100), his Great Wave of Kanagawa has in the Occident become iconic and emblematic of woodblock as an art form:

Addendum: Looks like it's worse than I'd thought! The collection included not only twelve works by Hokusai, but also three by Utamaro and one by the very mysterious Sharaku. Here's hoping neither the water nor looters will get at them.

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