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Detail from Katsushika Hokusai, The great wave off Kanagawa (Kanagawa oki namiura), (1830–34), from the Thirty-six views of Mt Fuji (Fugaku-sanjū-rokkei) National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Felton Bequest, 1909 (426-2)

Friday essay: from the Great Wave to Starry Night, how a blue pigment changed the world

Hokusai's Great Wave is the enduring image of Japanese art. Less well known is the story of its primary pigment - Prussian blue - which was created in a lab accident in Berlin and sparked 'blue fever' in Europe.

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