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Katsushika Hokusai, 1760-1849
Hokusai Album
(Hokusai Gafu)

ehon with orange covers with protective blue chiitsu wrapper, 3 volumes complete; with illustrations from Hokusai Gashiki (1819) and Hokusai Soga (1820); each with printed title slip, Hokusai Gafu johen, zen (Vol. 1, complete), Hokusai Gafu chuhen zen (Vol. 2, complete), and Hokusai Gafu gehen zen (Vol. 3, complete), Vol I with preface signed Shinrishi, Vol. II with list of books available from the publisher opposite the frontispiece and same preface signed Shinrinshi; Vol. IIII with another list of books available from the publisher opposite different introductory text signed Sankin gaishi Roshonen; published by Eirakuya Toshiro and Kadomaruya Jinsuke, a fine early impression, ca. 1849
each ehon approximately 9 by 6 1/4 in., 22.8 by 15.8 cm
Hillier devotes a chapter to the two works collected here in this set, the Hokusai Gashiki (Hokusai's Drawing Style) published in 1819 which Hillier describes as "a gleaning from the Manga series of all the finest, more considered prints," and the Hokusai Soga (Hokusai's Random Sketches), which he asserts is anything but random, published the following year which includes some of Hokusai's most famous book designs. Both works were published in two variants (probably at the same time): one version with just black outlines and another with grey and pink blocks. This combined edition printed in 1849 utilized pale pink, grey and blue blocks- utilizing the Prussian blue pigment which was not available at the time of the original publications.
Jack Hillier, Major Drawing Books of the 1819 and 1820, Chapter 12 in The Art of Hokusai in Book Illustration, 1980, pp. 145-157
Richard Lane, Hokusai: Life and Work, 1989, p. 309
price: $ 5,200