Likely Hokusai paintings found in Netherlands
A group of researchers in the Netherlands say artworks owned by a national museum likely contain previously unknown paintings by Japanese ukiyoe master Katsushika Hokusai.
The 6 paintings are in the possession of the National Museum of Ethnology in the western city of Leiden. The name of the artist was not known.
The paintings were originally part of collections of Japanese art amassed and brought home by German physician Philipp Franz von Siebold more than 150 years ago. Siebold is known for bringing Western medicine to Japan.
The research team at the museum compared the paintings to a list of art that is owned by Siebold’s descendant.
The team found descriptions of some works as paintings by Hokusai in the Western style.
Five of the 6 works are water paintings on traditional Japanese paper depicting old townscapes of Tokyo, then called Edo, using perspective techniques, unlike ukiyoe woodblock prints.
The researchers say this may prove that Hokusai understood Western painting styles.
Senior researcher Matthi Forrer says he had thought they were drawn by a Westerner and that he was amazed to learn they could be productions by Hokusai.
The study results are expected to be reported at an international conference of Siebold researchers in Nagasaki on Saturday.