Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Woodblock print. Lilies.

  • Producer name

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1831-1832 (circa)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 25.4 centimetres
    • Width: 36.3 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Content

      • Inscription Transliteration

        Saki no Hokusai Iitsu hitsu
      • Inscription Translation

        From the brush of Iitsu, the former Hokusai
      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Comment

  • 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.


  • Bibliography

    • Clark 2017 82 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    2017 25 May - 2 July, London, BM, G35, Hokusai: Beyond the Great Wave

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department


  • Registration number


Woodblock print. Kachoga. Flowers, lilies. Nishiki-e on paper.


Woodblock print. Kachoga. Flowers, lilies. Nishiki-e on paper.

Image description



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Object reference number: JCF5823

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