japanese art

Field of Pinks and Rising MoonA six-panel folding screen DATEMomoyama period, 17th centuryMEDIUMInk, colors, gold leaf, and silver on paperDIMENSIONS166 by 360 cm A field of wild pinks (nadeshiko; Dianthus superbus) blooms under a rising moon in this six-panel folding screen. The anonymous artist arranged the flowers, a relative of the carnation, in dense, rhythmical clusters in three horizontal registers in the lower half of the screen, above which clouds of gold leaf merge with the gilded sky. Interspersed between the layers of flowers are passages where flecks of silver foil, now...

Netsuke con polpo
A wood netsuke representing an octopus dressed in kimonoSigned: MiwaEdo school, early 19th centuryKatabori wood netsuke, with eyes inlaid in dark hornHeight: 6.8cmProvenance:Arlette Katchen collectionThe semi-anthropomorphic octopus, dressed in a haori, stands on four tentacles that an entrapped tiny monkey tries to force. The composition refers to a tale in which Ryūjin, the Dragon King of Sea, falls ill and is told by his doctor, an octopus, that the only remedy for his sickness is the liver of a live monkey.There were a number of carvers using the name Miwa, all living in Edo, the...

Wood netsuke of a Dutchman19th centuryHeight: 8.5 cmNetsuke with a standing figure of a Dutchman in a curly wig, his mouth open, bending forward at the waist, a tasseled, trumpet-mouthed musical instrument in his right hand, his left hand behind his back supporting a small Chinese child (karako) which climbs on his right shoulder.The theme of foreigners, known during the Edo period as ijin or "different people”that indicates all the “non-Japanese", came from the strict rules intended by the Tokugawa shogun about the relationship between the archipelago and the...

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