Art: Every Line Will Be Alive

At 80, he was found one day weeping at his workbench because he thought that he had not learned enough about the art of drawing. On his deathbed nine years later, he cried out in anguish, "If heaven would only grant me ten more years, or only five, I might still become a great artist." Katsushika Hokusai need not have so tormented himself: by the time he died in 1849, ne was one of the finest—and certainly the most appealing—painters Japan ever produced. Proof of his talent could be seen last week at the...

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