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Cat fight!

You know Hokusai? Yeah, you know Hokusai – the Wave guy. About the time he drew that, in 1825, he did a series of illustrations for a picture book.

For reasons unknown, the book was never published. Which is good, because the original illos would have been destroyed in the engraving process. But it’s also bad, because they passed into private ownership never to be seen again.

Until now!

The British Museum bought all 103 of them in the Spring and put them on virtual display last month.

I really recommend having a browse. They’re fun and beautiful. More delicate than the swirly brush Japanese drawings I’m used to.

Toward the end of the Smithsonian article linked above, there is a handwringing about whether the BM should be in possession of them at all. Colonialism, don’t you know?

I may be reading too much into it, but I got the feeing the art historian quoted was shitting himself a little. To think, if countries can’t buy artworks outside their own local culture, the high falutin’ international art market will collapse.

Boo hoo.

September 22, 2020 — 8:22 pm
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