FLOWERS BY HOKUSAI REVISITED
The untitled series of ten large flowers were published circa 1832. Japanese buyers saw the publication of woodblocks as a craft and were not impressed by the seemingly simple prints. In a romantic view, Hokusai vainly tried to sell the prints on the streets during the hunger of the Tenpo period. In a realistic view, there was no interest. Recognition came by Westerners during the time of the Impressionists. Claude Monet owned a complete set.
Few woodblocks survived. Remaining copies have been poorly preserved. The background often shows the wear of time and the subjects became discoloured. Later the woodblocks were reprinted as authentic reproductions (from recut blocks) or posters after originals.
I managed to collect the series as authentic reproductions. A recent poster on canvas has been added. The images are shown in the order, applied by Matthi Forrer. The pictures are no thumbnails.
The ten images of the first edition can be found in Matthi
Forrer, Hokusai: Prints and drawings. London 1991. I compared the
authentic reproductions with the originals. The colours
were better for the reproductions.
So it gives an additional pleasure to watch the authentic reproductions. Number
10B (a poster of
an original) presents the mentioned problems. The colour of the orchids has
changed from orange to brown by oxidation and the wear on the background shows
the effect of a centerfold.