Six anonymous Edo period paintings now attributed to Hokusai

hokusai-attributed-paintingAt the 10th International Siebold Collection Conference held in Nagasaki last week, an interesting paper was presented by Dr Matthi Forrer. The Dutch scholar, former curator of Japanese art at the Leiden Ethnology Museum, attributed six water color landscape paintings to Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849). These water colors belong to the Siebold collection of the Ethnology Museum.

The museum says the attribution was made possible by the discovery of a document in the archives of Burg Brandenstein in Germany, where Siebold related records are kept by Siebold descendant Constantin Graf von Brandenstein-Zeppelin.

hokusai-attributionIn these archives Matthi Forrer found a list of purchases made by Siebold in Japan. Siebold lists and describes six paintings in a way which matches the designs of the to-date anonymous paintings and notes the name Hokusai in relation to these works.

According to an article about this discovery in the Japan Times, Japanese scholars are not convinced yet and they suggest that further study on the paintings would be needed in order to confirm Forrer’s statement.