japanese art

Rakuchū Rakugai ZuViews of Kyoto

Edo period, mid 17th century

Pair of six-panel folding screens; ink, colors, and gold on paper
Each 121 by 282 cm  Folding screens depicting the ancient capital city of Kyoto and its surroundings (rakuchū rakugai zu) are among the most popular genres of Japanese painting. The broad surfaces of folding screens (byōbu) were ideally suited to the panoramic cityscape, as they afforded artists opportunities both to present sweeping vistas of the capital and to focus on details of everyday life in the city. Kyoto screens first appear in documents in the...

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...

Kogo (incense box)Mid Edo period, 18th centuryBlack ground; decoration in gold hiramaki-e. Rims: pewter. Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.9 x 31 cm.Provenance:Charles A. Greenfield collectionPrivate collection, SwitzerlandExhibited:New York, 1980, The Metropolitan Museum of ArtLiterature:“The Charles A Greenfield collection of Japanese lacquer”, Eskenazi Ltd., London: 1990, cat. 19 A.J.Pekarik, “Japanese Lacquer, 1600-1900”, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: 1980, cat.19, fig. 31The antique Japanese tradition of folding love letters to form a knot around a tree branch...

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