Cast bronze. Height: 6.5".
From South India,teak wood. 26â€ x 3.5â€ x 9.5â€
Gilt bronze. H: 3 1/2"
Indo-Islamic culture; Copper metal alloy, 9.5â€ x 7.5â€
Woodblock print in ink on paper; 17.5" x 12". This remarkable object from Jōruriji temple, Kyoto Prefecture, represents multiple stamped woodblock images of Amida, the Buddha of the Western Paradise, whose popularity as an object of devotion in Japan had begun to surge from around the year 1000. It so closely resembles other sheets of similar images that were found inside the central Buddha statue at the temple of Jōruriji, in the mountains between Kyoto and Nara, that it must also come from that group. The statue has been recently dated to the second half of the 11th century and the prints are generally considered to have been made at that time. The sheets were discovered when the statue was restored early in the twentieth century. Many were sold off. They all contain images in ten horizontal rows of ten column length. In this one, although there are only nine rows, the edges of a damaged left column of images are visible. Most, like this one, are made from a single block of nearly identical images. This repetition of images allowed the sheets to be filled faster, and it was believed that the more sheets a devotee filled, the more spiritual merit s/he received. Although the execution of the printing is unsophisticated, compositionally the images create an elegant religious aura. For a discussion of this set and pictures of other, very similar prints from this set, see: John M. Rosenfield and Shūjirō Shimada, Traditions of Japanese Art: Selections from the Kimiko and John Powers Collection. Cambridge, MA: Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, 1970, plate 28, pp. 68-69. See also Miyeko Murase, ed. The Written Image: Japanese Calligraphy and Painting from the Sylvan Barnet and William Burto Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002, pp. 84-85.
Hanging scroll; ink, gold, and colors on silk. 70" x 26 1/2". Stored in paulownia wood (kiri) box. Prince Shōtoku (Shōtoku Taishi or Imperial Prince of Holy Virtue; 574-622) is regarded by later admirers as Japan's first great imperial statesman, the founding father of Buddhism in Japan, and the human incarnation of assorted Buddhist deities and distinguished monks. Belief in the interrelated nature of these accomplishments assured his leap to the status of mythic hero. This painting is a later version of a very famous, iconic portrait of Prince Shōtoku and his brother and son wearing Chinese-style court robes, dating to the late 7th or early 8th century and owned by the Imperial Household Agency. Paintings such as this and the cult with which they are associated came about in part because of the successful promotion of Prince Shōtoku by those with a vested interest in perpetuating the lineage of the imperial family by portraying its members as national heroes. Ironically, although power struggles within the imperial family shortly after Prince Shōtoku's death wrested authority away from his direct heirs, the usurpers could not undo the mythologizing of the Prince that elevated him to divine status.
55â€ x 73.5â€
Punjabi school, made for export to the West; gouache on paper. 13.5â€ x 13.625â€
Hanging scroll; ink and light colors on ink with beautiful brocade mounting. Image size: 38â€ x 13.75â€, scroll mounting: 72" x 18 1/4". Signed by the artist (who indicates he also inscribed the poem) with one red, gourd-shaped seal: Bunzen. Stored in paulownia wood (kiri) box. The artist of this scroll followed in the footsteps of artists associated with the Rinpa school tradition, who, from the 17th century, had borrowed subjects from Japanâ€™s courtly past, but presented them in novel ways. When Japanese viewers see paintings of irises, they inevitably associate them with Japan's most celebrated poetic narrative, The Tales of Ise (Ise monogatari), compiled in the tenth century. This tale consists of 125 episodes that intersperse a biographical narrative of Ariwara no Narihira (825-880), a famous courtier-poet of the previous century, together with examples of his romantic poetry. One of the sections describes how, when a man and his friends go looking for a place to live in the East they come to an eight-planked bridge (yatsuhashi) that crosses a marsh filled with flowering irises. On the spot, they compose poems to their loved ones far away. Although as yet undeciphered, it is likely that the poem Hōitsu inscribed on his painting comes from this section of the Tales of Ise, which was a favorite of his to illustrate.
Porcelain with yellow glaze. Kangxi reign period.
image size: 11.75" x 5.25". Woodblock print in ink and colors on paper. Condition is very faded; framed behind glass. Vertical hosoban size. This print comes from a group of six prints of similar style and size, all acquired from T.Z. Shiota in San Francisco between 1961 and 1966. They all portray famous Kabuki actors in roles from Kabuki plays. This print is distinguished from the others because impressed on its surface is a round red seal reading "Hayashi Tada," which is the seal of one of the earliest Japanese Ukiyo-e print dealers to sell prints in Paris, Hayashi Tadamasa (1853-1906).
Ink and colors on cloth. 49" x 71 1/4" (framed). This piece was the subject of a research paper by a student recently. It consists of small panels organized vertically and horizontally with calligraphic script and painted figures representing cosmic principles with symbols.
Surimono-style woodblock print in ink, color, gold, and silver, with embossing on thick paper. 16" x 13" in good condition. An Ukiyo-e printmaker, Gakutei was a native of Edo, but lived and worked in Osaka in the 1830's. His work was much influenced by Hokusai. A Kyoka poet, Gakutei also put his own poems on his prints. Popular in his time, he was a good craftsman who made many excellent surimono and book illustrations. This print is a surimono (literally, "printed things"), a special type of Ukiyo-e woodblock print that combines poetry and printmaking in an often complex verbal-visual exchange. Produced largely during the second half of the Edo period, from the late 18th to the early 19th centuries, these privately published, limited-edition prints are extremely rare. Catering to the refined tastes of their literati patrons, surimono allowed higher standards of production. They were usually commissioned by groups of amateur poets to serve as New Year's greeting cards or as announcements of special events. Thus, the subjects most commonly represented were images of spring, especially scenes of New Year's activities, and auspicious symbols. The production of a surimono represented the collaboration of poets, artists, calligraphers, engravers, and publishers. Prints were generally initiated by a poet who would commission an artist to create a complementary motif or scene. The text and artist's design would then be taken to a private publisher who, working with a calligrapher and engraver, prepared the necessary blocks. The resulting prints were then distributed among the poet's friends and associates.
Cloisonne enamels over metal base. H: 7 1/". Brightly-colored vessels such as this were made for export to the West where they found great favor with collectors.
Portion of image created in the Gandhara Region. Gray schist, Height: 7"
Swat Region of Pakistan, cedar wood;16.5â€ x 37â€
Seto ware stoneware with cream colored glaze, underglaze iron oxide and cobalt blue. Diameter: 10.75" Potters at Seto kilns near the city of Nagoya operated the most commercially successful pottery industry in pre-modern Japan. In the medieval era, they caterd to elite consumers, producing fine glazed wares for everyday use and for the tea ceremony. By the time this plate was made in the 18th century, Seto potters had turned to the mass production of everyday tableware for commercial establishments and for the households of commoners. The deftly-brushed duck and waves on this plate are characteristic of Seto plate designs. Although a mingei (folk art) product, the fluid drawing reveals the hand of a master decorator.
Punjabi school, made for export to the West; gouache on paper. 6.75â€ x 4.5â€
Swat Region of Pakistan; chipcarved wood; 34.5â€ x 32.25â€ x 22.5â€
Woodblock print; ink and colors on paper. Vertical ōban size. Signature: Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga. Scene: Saimyo-ji â€œTokiakiâ€ (monk) and Shiratae (woman: name of joro). Censor seal: Kinugasa; publisher: Ibaya Sensaburo; carver: chōkō Fusajirō [Matsushima Fusajirō]. The artist of this print was one of the most prolific and popular of the late Edo period Ukiyo-e printmakers active in Edo (Tokyo). He specialized in prints of warriors, historical tales, landscapes, and geisha, often, as in this print from a big series, collaborating with other printmakers.
In the upper rectangle: Kinoeneya Restaurant at Mukojima-mazaki. In the main section: Koshiro in the role of Soroku in the play Go-taiheiki Shiroishi-banashi Woodblock print in ink and colors on paper. Vertical ōban size. Signatures: Toyokuni ga, Hiroshige Publisher: Fujiokaya Keijiro These prints have a landscape and still-life by Hiroshige above, and below is an actor in a stage role by Kunisada.
All are carved and stained ivory. Some are okimono (small sculptures made to look like netsuke but lacking the holes netsuke have for tying strings through them).