How I wish I had known Camille Claudel's Bathers when I sent Jeanette, Amy, and Emily skinny-dipping in Where the Light Falls! It's only one of a hundred images and ideas to spark imagination in the wide-ranging Hokusai's Great Wave: Biography of a Global Icon by Christine Guth. I began reading the book in conjunction with, Hokusai: Inspiration and Influence, an exhibition open at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston through July 16, 2023. I'm finding that it sends me back to Jeanette and Paris.
Guth takes Katsuhika Hokusai's famous print, Under the Wave Off Kanagawa, and provides a fascinating introduction to Japanese woodcuts, two hundred years of East-West artistic cross-currents, the art market in Paris in late 19th C, Russian book illustration, politics in postwar Japan, museum merchandizing—on and on and on, you name it. What I love is its scholarly rigor combined with its lively response to a whole host of objects and cultural trends. Follow the Great Wave and, oh, the places you'll go!