"Masterpieces of Flowers and Birds" by Hokusai

"Masterpieces of Flowers and Birds" by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) was published around the same time as his successful series of "Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji" by the same publisher, Nishimuraya Yohachi (Eijudo). Hokusai designed a set of 10 oban size prints with "Flowers and Birds" motifs. In this series, Hokusai depicted dramatic close-up views of flowers, insects, and animals which attracted the interest and admiration of European artists in the second half of the nineteenth century. The animated forms of the blossoms seem full of life-energy and even spiritual power. These designs also inspired the world famous arts and crafts studios such as Baccarat and Lalique in France and they used Hokusai's "Flowers and Birds" designs in their products.