japanese art

EnsoShogetsu (Chuho Sou) (1759-1838)Sumi ink on paperSigned: "Shogetsu" with artist's sealsPainting: 29 x 60 cmMounts: 29 x 60 cm“Circle paintings” (enso) are closely associated with the meditative experience of Japanese Zen monks, which express their individual state of mind through this graphic sign. The interpretations given to this pictorial act are countless: from an overall perspective the circle is seen as the emblem of Zen’s deepest concepts, icon of the meditative process toward the Enlightenment (satori); the enso represents also 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...

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...

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