japanese screens

Edo period, 18th centuryPair of two-panel folding screens Ink, colors, gofun and gold leaf on paperEach 170 by 165 cm The term karamono is used to define ceramic, carvel lacquerware, furniture, bronzes and other decorative items imported from China. They became highly prized as imported curios, used in Japan as kazari - display items - and even the shōgun would install karamono in his chamber (zashiki) and invite members of the court and clergy to view them. Often karamono have been copied by Japanese craftsmen, so shapes from Chinese bronzes and porcelain have been used in Japan for...

Lacquered writing boxEdo period, 19th century36 by 38 by 7 cmSilver and gold maki-e lacquer on black ground. The suzuribako is in the typical Rinpa style, decorated with two cranes, a motif often used by artists of this school. The term Rimpa (or Rinpa) derives from the combination of the last syllable of Kōrin’s name and the word ha (converted into pa), which means school. It was used to describe a highly sophisticated decorative style initiated by the painter Tawaraya Sōtatsu in the early seventeenth century and was continued by the Kōrin brothers in the next century. It is...

Edo Period (1615-1867), 19th centurySealed by the artist in red ink, 138 by 304 cmThis pair of screens belongs to a genre of lyrical paintings of flowers, grasses, and other plants that flourished around the middle of the seventeenth century and became a specialty of the Sôtatsu studio. The use of a rather complex composition of clusters of flowers and the puddling of ink was initiated by Tawaraya Sôtatsu, the founder of the Rimpa school, who was active from 1600 until 1642. The screens are abstract and decorative but there is, at the same time, a keen sense of naturalism not only in the...

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