PARIS – Nearly 200 woodblock prints and ukiyo-e sketches by famed artists, including Katsushika Hokusai and Suzuki Harunobu, were auctioned off Wednesday for 4,297,000 euros, or about 500 million yen.
In its first Asian art auction in Paris, Sotheby’s sold 190 out of 229 Edo Period (1603-1867) woodblock prints and drawings collected over a 50-year period by a French dealer who died in 1999.
Guimet Museum got five woodblock prints by Harunobu (1725-1770) and seven draft drawings by Hokusai (1760-1849) for his representative ukiyo-e.
Ukiyo-e paintings, literally “pictures of floating world,” typically depict secular everyday life, ranging from courtship to scenic landscapes.
A private collector paid 490,000 euros for 46 prints of Hokusai’s “One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji.”
Although the total bids were slightly below expectations, a Sotheby’s spokesman described the result as “wonderful.”
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