The Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli presents the exhibition “Hokusai, Hiroshige, Hasui: Journey through a Changing Japan”.
The exhibition will present works by the two great 19th-century Masters of the “Floating World”, Katsushika Hokusai and Utagawa Hiroshige, alongside modern prints by Kawase Hasui, a key member of the shin hanga (“new prints”) movement. Hasui developed new subjects and themes in woodblock colour print through the Meiji (1868-1912), Taishō (1912-1926) and Shōwa periods, up to the mid-1950s when he was named a “Living national treasure” in 1956.
Through a selection of more than 100 extraordinary woodblock colour prints by these three masters, Katsushika Hokusai, Utagawa Hiroshige and Kawase Hasui, the exhibition will take visitors on a journey through the most evocative places in Japan, both real and imaginary. It will illustrate the art of a country that underwent a huge transformation because of the influence of the West between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. The Floating World of Hokusai and Hiroshige will be revealed along with its transformation into the tastes of a society that increasingly aspired to European canons, to which Hasui serves as a testament.
Visitors will experience a comprehensive narrative, starting from the wonder and emotion that artists such as Monet, Van Gogh, Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec must have felt in their day when witnessing the innovation, simplicity and power of the work of Hokusai and Hiroshige. These two extraordinary landscape artists helped revolutionise the language of painting in Paris at the end of the 19th century.
Visitors will then witness the evolution of the Floating World, and how its images were transformed in the modern age through Hasui’s skill, nostalgia and innovative technique. His work is presented for the first time directly alongside the most important works by the great masters of Japanese art.