In 2019, a remarkable tranche of 103 drawings by Katsushika Hokusai was discovered in a private collection in Paris. Intended by the Japanese artist for an unrealised publication, the Great Picture Book of Everything, the drawings (loosely dated from the 1820s–40s, a period which also includes the creation of the Great Wave off Kanagawa in 1831) depict a vast range of flora, fauna, landscapes and legends, including an origin myth that traces the birth of human culture to ancient China. Last recorded at auction in 1948, they were subsequently forgotten; in 2020 they were acquired by the British Museum, where they now go on public display for the first time (30 September–30 January 2022). Find out more at the British Museum’s website.
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