A Paris exhibition spans the six periods in Japanese painter Hokusai's work, showing 500 paintings by the 18th century artist, many of which are unlikely to travel outside Japan again. Tara Cleary reports.
"The Great Wave off Kanagawa", one of the most famous pieces of Japanese art. Created by 18th century painter Hokusai, it's part of a new exhibition about the artist at the Grand Palais in Paris. The exhibition spans six periods of Hokusai's career and curator Laure Dalon says even though Hokusai has always been considered a great artist, there's more to him than the "great wave" painting. SOUNDBITE: Laure Dalon, curator of the Hokusai exhibition at the Grand Palais, saying (French): "What we really wanted to show is a complete retrospective to show that behind this very emblematic Great Wave, there are a lot of things and works of a large cultural wealth." The exhibition also features artworks that were inspired by Hokusai, like this sketch by French painter Henri Riviere. And Dalon says the Japanese artist's influence still continues today. SOUNDBITE: Laure Dalon, curator of the Hokusai exhibition at the Grand Palais, saying (French): "There is real freedom and modernity in his work, in his stroke, in the way he drew. He used to take possession of the motifs without worrying about their crudeness. There is a real modernity in his connection to the world." The show contains such a vast array of Hokusai's art that it is divided into two phases to protect fragile pieces, which can't be displayed for very long. These will later be replaced by other prints. The exhibition will run until January 18, 2015.