- Museum number
Woodblock print. Lilies.
- Production date
- 1831-1832 (circa)
Height: 25.40 centimetres
Width: 36.30 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Clark 2017
Lilies loom in close-up against a pale blue background.
Two open flowers, two buds and one half-open flower
are all drawn with the same, somewhat ragged outline.
Even the finest lines taper and swell and, almost
imperceptibly, tremble and (occasionally) fragment.
This rejection of smoothly flowing lines is certainly a
deliberate strategy on Hokusai’s part. The delicate
stamens reflect directly the traces of the brush. As in
‘Iris’ and ‘Poppy’ (cat. 83), the leaves are expressed,
unusually, only in green and black ink, with the green
printed flat, but the black deliberately preserving the
traces of the brush. The darker and lighter areas of
pink are achieved by abrading the edges of the block to
achieve a gradated effect (ita-bokashi), which is carefully
overprinted with fine, fragmented coloured lines. The
overall impression is of an abbreviated brush style, but
it is actually the product of the most careful
calculation. Hokusai had already drawn lilies in volume
1 of Hokusai’s Sketches (Hokusai manga, 1814) and again in
volume 4 (1816); the latter, also in ‘cursive’ (sō) style, is
very similar to the image here. ‘Lily’, ‘Poppy’ (cat. 83)
and ‘Iris’ are the only three designs that present the
flower alone, without an insect or a bird.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2017 25 May - 2 July, London, BM, G35, Hokusai: Beyond the Great Wave
2017 6 Oct - 19 Nov, Osaka, Abeno Harukas Art Museum
- Acquisition date
- Registration number