Thursday, October 14, 2010

Vase with Chrysanthemum Design

Vase with Chrysanthemum Design inlaid under celadon glaze Koryo dynasty, Korea
Celadon-glazed ware of  Korea began in the early Koryo dynasty.  Celadon-glazed ware with inlaid white and black clay decorations, which is peculiar to Korea, emerged during the reign of King Uijong (1147-1170) and reached a pinnacle of technical development during the reign of the following king, Myongjong.
This vase, measuring 33.4cm high, is a fine example of inlaid and celadon-glazed ware dating from its most prosperous time.  The form is well balanced with no dullness and the design of inlaid chrysanthemums is beautifully presented.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Incense Burner

Incense Burner  in the shape of a Bugaku Dance headgear with overglaze enamel decoration Edo period, Japan.
This is a Kokiyomizu ware incense burner, which is a type of Kyoto ware.  After Nonomura Ninsei perfected the beautifully elegant Japanese style enameled pottery during the Kanbunera (1661-1673), Ninsei-style pottery emerged at Kiyomizu in Kyoto.  Later, when Okuda Eisen (?? – 1811) introduced Chinese-style porcelain, Kiyomizu ware made a drastic change.  The term Kokiyomizu (old Kiyomizu) is applied to the Kiyomizu ware before Eisen.
This incense burner is an example of Kokiyomizu ware ascribed to the seventeenth or eighteenth centure.  Shaped like a  torikabuto, a headgear worn during a bugaku dance, its shape and coloring show sophisticated elegance.

Tea Bowl

Tea Bowl  - Tortoise-shell Tenmoku ware Southern Song dynasty, China.
This is a tenmoku type tea bowl produced at the Jizhou kiln in Jiangxi Province, China.  The name comes from the fact that yellowish brown spots, resembling a tortoise shell, appear on yellowish brown spots, resembling a tortoise shell, appear on the dark brown iron glaze.  Characteristics of this type of tea bowl are that while the outside is covered with brown spots, the inside has a flower, phoenix, leaf or Chinese character design.  This tea bowl has the tortoise-shell sports on the outside and stenciled floral lozenges on the inside.

Nine Flowers of the Four Seasons

Nine Flowers of the Four Seasons by Tsubaki Chinzan Edo period, Japan.  Tsubaki Chinzan (1801-1854) first studied painting with Kaneko Kinryo.  He also mastered the so-called “boneless” technique (lacking contour lines) of the Chinese artist Yun Nantian.  Chinzan was particularly skilled in the “bird and flower” genre and was esteemed as the best painter of flowering plants in his time.
This is the upper portion of the painting depicting red plum blossoms, peony and white magnolias.  Painted in 1852 when Chinzan was 52 years old.


Landscape by Maejima Soyu Muromachi period, Japan.  Although no biographical information is available on this artist, he is considered to be a Chinese-style painter under the influence of Kano Motonobu and related to Soami.
This work depicts a Chinese scholar, accompanied by two boy attendants, seated with a zither on his lap and viewing a waterfall across a river.  Distant mountains beyond the vast clouds and mist are favorite sights of  Chinese-style painters.


 Seikado is the studio name of Yanosuke Iwasaki. 
This collection of important cultural materials was started around 1892 by Yanosuke Iwasaki, the second president of the Mitsubishi Company, who retained and admiration for Far Eastern culture, which had fallen into neglect during the period of the Westernization of Japan during the Meiji period (1868-1912), and wished to preserve such cultural materials and prevent them from becoming scattered and lost.  The collection was enlarged and strengthened by the founder’s son Koyata Iwasaki, Mitsubishi’s fourth president. 
In 1940, Koyata Iwasaki created the Seikado Foundation and donated the entire collection of books, the building and the land, as well as funds for maintaining the collection.  Koyata also hoped to establish an art museum, but World War II intervened.  At his death, in December, 1945, however, he bequeathed some 200 masterworks from his art collection to the foundation.
Koyata’s dream was realized in 1976 when his heir, Tadao Iwasaki, donated the remaining works of art from Koyata’s collection and Exhibit Gallery to the foundation.
In 1992, in commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Seikado collection, a new art museum was opened and activities in this area greatly expanded.  (References: Mitsubishi Corporation, Seikado Foundation)