Hokusai: beyond the Great Wave

Hokusai: beyond the Great Wave

25 May - 13 August 2017
Room 35
£12.00, Members/under 16s free
Experience the beautiful and sublime work of one of Japan’s greatest artists.

Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) is widely regarded as Japan’s most famous and influential artist. He produced works of astonishing quality right up until his death at the age of 90. This new exhibition will lead you on an artistic journey through the last 30 years of Hokusai’s life – a time when he produced some of his most famous masterpieces.

Throughout the exhibition, outstanding examples of Hokusai’s work will show the artist’s creative breadth and depth. A selection of superb landscapes is introduced with the iconic Great Wave – itself part of a print series of views of Mt Fuji. Intimate domestic scenes capture fleeting moments in private lives. Exquisite depictions of flora and fauna display an innate skill in representing the natural world. The artist’s imagination is given full rein in the portrayal of supernatural creatures such as ghosts and deities. Through all of these works, explore Hokusai’s personal beliefs and gain a fascinating insight into the artist’s spiritual and artistic quest in his later years.

The exhibition will include prints, paintings and illustrated books, many of which are on loan from Japan, Europe and the USA. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see these extraordinary works together.

Please note – security checks are in operation. Make sure you factor in additional time in order to reach the exhibition entrance at your reserved timeslot. Once you have passed through the Museum’s front gate on Great Russell Street, ticket holders will be able to join the fast track lane through these security checks. 


Scythians: warriors of ancient Siberia

Scythians: warriors of ancient Siberia

The BP exhibition
Scythians: warriors of ancient Siberia

14 September 2017 - 14 January 2018
Room 30, Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery
£16.50, Members/under 16s free

2,500 years ago groups of formidable warriors roamed the vast open plains of Siberia. Feared, loathed, admired – but over time forgotten... Until now.

This major exhibition explores the story of the Scythians – nomadic tribes and masters of mounted warfare, who flourished between 900 and 200 BC. Their lifestyle and ferocity has echoed through the ages. Other groups from the Huns to the Mongols have followed in the Scythians' footsteps - and they have even influenced the portrayal of the Dothraki in Game of Thrones. The Scythians' encounters with the Greeks, Assyrians and Persians were written into history but for centuries all trace of their culture was lost – buried beneath the ice.

Discoveries of ancient tombs have unearthed a wealth of Scythian treasures. Amazingly preserved in the permafrost, clothes and fabrics, food and weapons, spectacular gold jewellery – even mummified warriors and horses – are revealing the truth about these people’s lives. These incredible finds tell the story of a rich civilisation, which eventually stretched from its homeland in Siberia as far as the Black Sea and even the edge of China.

Many of the objects in this stunning exhibition are on loan from the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. Scientists and archaeologists are continuing to discover more about these warriors and bring their stories back to life.

Explore their lost world and discover the splendour, the sophistication and the sheer power of the mysterious Scythians.

Supported by BP
Organised with the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia