One Hundred Poems by One Hundred Poets

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    Abe no Nakamaro, from the series “One Hundred Poems Explained by the Nurse,” Japan, Edo period, 1835 – 1836, Color woodblock print, Gift of James A Michener, 1987 (20083)

October 08, 2009 - November 22, 2009
Robert F. Lange Foundation Gallery (21)

Exhibition Overview

In conjunction with the special exhibition Hokusai’s Summit: The Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji in Gallery 28, all of the surviving prints from Katsushika Hokusai’s other major single-sheet woodblock print series, One Hundred Poems Explained by the Nurse, will be displayed. Hokusai’s most ambitious series, the One Hundred Poems consisted of illustrations to Japan’s most beloved anthology of court poetry, One Hundred Poems by One Hundred Poets. However, the series was interrupted by the Tenpö famine of the mid-1830s, and Hokusai completed only 28 prints before abandoning it, and the medium of single-sheet woodblock prints. Consequently, the One Hundred Poems series was Hokusai’s last major accomplishment as a woodblock print designer, and together with the Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji it represents his pinnacle as an artist in the medium for which he became best known to later generations.

Here you can compare Hokusai’s treatment of the same subject in two different series.—SHAWN EICHMAN, Curator of Asian Art