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  4. Hokusai's drawings for the Great Picture Book of Everything (『万物絵本大全図』) are published in the ARC database


Hokusai's drawings for the Great Picture Book of Everything (『万物絵本大全図』) are published in the ARC database
November 2, 2020(Mon)

BM-2020.3015.046.jpgThe Art Research Center is pleased to announce that the group of drawings by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) made for a book called Great Picture Book of Everything (『万物絵本大全図』) and published online by the British Museum on September 3, 2020, is now also available in the ARC database.

The metadata in the ARC's database is more detailed than the original database due to the additional information provided with the ARC's own research.


The existence of these drawings that were formerly owned by Parisian jeweler and art collector Henri Vever had been unknown to the wider world for 70 years after they were sold at an auction. It was only last year when they were finally re-discovered and acquired by the British Museum.

In a total of 103 drawings, Hokusai depicted a wide range of subjects related to natural phenomena, landscapes, ancient China, India and Southeast Asia, amongst others. The discovery of these drawings is especially significant as they stem from a period in the artist's career, the late 1820s, where he was previously thought to have created relatively little due to a series of difficult personal challenges. However, this group of drawings actually marks a turning point in the artist's career, giving him a new burst of creativity that was to be reflected in his subsequent famous print series, Thirty-Six Views of Mt Fuji (c. 1831-1833).

Ukiyo-e Portal Database: (in Japanese) (in English)

The Early Japanese Books Portal Database

The published images were taken by Art Research Center staff.

<Cooperation with the British Museum>

The ARC has been engaging in the digitization of the British Museum's Japan-related artworks for more than 10 years.

While the artworks that have been digitized by the ARC are available in the British Museum's collection search system, they are also published online by the ARC based on the contractual terms, and many items are only available in the ARC database.

Please refer to the ARC's databases for the British Museum below.

The British Museum Japanese Old Books Database (1,567 items) (in Japanese) (in English)

Ukiyo-e Online Database for the Collection of the British Museum (20,436 items) (in Japanese) (in English)