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  • Thumbnail for The Courtesan Hanamurasaki of Tamaya Brothel and her Kamuro (girl attendant)
    The Courtesan Hanamurasaki of Tamaya Brothel and her Kamuro (girl attendant) by unknown

    Bijin-ga (images of beauties) might be of actual contemporary and historic women or of an idealized type of beauty specific to a time and region. Courtesans in particular were usually depicted in the latest and most elaborate fashions of the day. After restrictive censorship laws were passed in the 1840s, many artists turned to generalized pictures of the latest fashions and more domestic settings for their images of beauties.

  • Thumbnail for Bronze rice measure - side view
    Bronze rice measure - side view

    This rectangular tapering vessel is an example of the everyday, utilitarian objects that were fashioned in mold cast bronze in the 18th century. The decoration, which incorporates neatly finished human figures in genre scenes along with typical decorative border embellishments, no doubt was fashioned for use in an important household, rather than for use in a less grand setting. 3 3/4in. high, 5 1/2in wide.

  • Thumbnail for Bronze ritual vessel gu - central view
    Bronze ritual vessel gu - central view

    In the same tradition as the preceding object, this well cast archaistic revival vessel is decorated with the requisite zoomorphic design employing the use of taotie masks and classical leiwen background pattern. The solidly defined flanges and the three registers of decorative spaces (upper, central and lower) reflect the metal smith’s attention to the strict orthodoxy of ancient bronze decoration.

  • Thumbnail for Porcelain saucer dish - detail of side
    Porcelain saucer dish - detail of side

    This doucai enameled shallow dish is decorated on the interior with a central lappet roundel within double circle borders; the exterior depicts three cranes, emblematic of longevity amongst cloud scrolls and fungus. The base is inscribed with a Yongzheng (1723-1735) reign mark and is of the period, however the quality of the enameling and porcelain suggest that it was not intended for the Imperial household.

  • Thumbnail for Landscape
    Landscape by Chang Ting, 1917-

    The artist studied abroad in Italy and France in 1954 but during the Cultural Revolution he was restricted to the countryside without any painting supplies. His paintings often incorporate elements of Chinese folk art.

  • Thumbnail for Dawn of the Year
    Dawn of the Year by Ding Fuzhi, 1879-1949

    Artist is a native of Hangzhou on the West Lake and he was an expert in seal carving. As a painter his work falls in the category of 'gongbihua', fine stroke painting. The title is inscribed by the artist.

  • Thumbnail for Mother and children
    Mother and children by Qiu Chu (Tuling Neishi), Miss Qiu, mid 16th century

    Artist was the elder daughter of famous professional painter Chiu Ying (Qiu Ying) who taught her how to paint. She often painted women and children of aristicratic families.

  • Thumbnail for Deep porcelaneous bowl
    Deep porcelaneous bowl

    This celadon bowl with a carved landscape decoration and cloud scroll border is a southern type called longquan ware, with its typically grayish body and burnt reddish-brown where exposed in the firing. The thick, pale olive green glaze darkens in the recessed carved design to highlight the subject of the decoration. 5 inches high by 8.5 inches wide.

  • Thumbnail for Large porcelain dish - detail of bottom
    Large porcelain dish - detail of bottom

    The decoration on this blue and white charger was inspired by Islamic ceramics of the 16th and 17th centuries and influenced the decorative patterns used on 18th century Dutch Delft wares.

  • Thumbnail for Morning mist at Mishima Station
    Morning mist at Mishima Station by Utagawa Hiroshige

    From the Fifty-three Stations of the first Tokaido series in the Hoeido Tokaido edition and one of the most well-known 19th century ukiyo-e artists, famous for his landscape views, particularly his images of the Tokaido. This image was originally a part of architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s collection of Japanese woodblock prints. It along with 36 others came to the Wriston from a benefactor who received them from Wright in lieu of a payment for printing services. Many of the prints have Wright’s handwritten notations in the margins. Though many of the Wright works in our collection are of lesser quality, the images serve as an example of the interest in Asian art that so informed Wright’s architecture. As the busiest highway in the 18th and early 19th centuries, the Tokaido offered numerous chances to experience a variety of social classes and day-to-day activities. Numerous images of this highway were created during the Edo period, some in singular views and others in series, the most famous of which are Hiroshige’s numerous editions. The images depicted the commercial activity along the road and famous views seen on the journey. Hiroshige, in particular, also chose many of the views based on varying times of year and the weather conditions that offered an ever-changing impression of the landscape. Greatly influenced by his teacher Utagawa Toyoharu, Hiroshige often employed perspective views rather than the more traditional stacked and flattened views of the landscape found in the Kano school of painting. This slightly more western view helps to explain his popularity among 19th century artists in Europe. One of Hiroshige’s most famous images “Morning Mist at Mishima Station†shows the artist’s interest in the ever-changing effects of light, dark and atmosphere. This was station number eleven.

  • Thumbnail for Tang Yin portrait, full view
    Tang Yin portrait, full view by Signed 'Tang Yin'

    Chinese vertical scroll painting, likely a forgery; colors on silk, brocade frame mounted on paper, flush roller with brocade ends; image area 20.4 cm x 55.8 cm; subject Chang Hsien the archer, patron of child-bearing; birth of male child announced by hanging bow at door or gate, calligraphy, five seals. The subject matter does not match the artist’s inscription. Tang Yin is very well known for his versatility, including calligraphy, figures, and landscapes. He was also known for his literary talents and free-spirited lifestyle. His artistic reputation is reflected in many writings, including novels and dramas in later eras and his love of women is depicted in the performing arts and popular culture. Tang Yin was known as a commercial painter who sold his works and took commissions. Many of the extant works that bear his signature are forgeries. The artist of this painting displays a unique manner in his brushwork, with angular and edgy outlines that reflect the influence of Zhou Chen (still alive in the 1530s), another famous painter of Tang Yin’s era. Tang Yin originally studied painting with Zhou Chen, however Zhou Chen occasionally ghost-painted for Tang Yin due to the huge demand for Tang’s paintings. Another possibility is that the inscription of this painting was done by Tang Yin and the figure was done by Zhou Chen.

  • Thumbnail for The courtesan Tamagoto of Tamaya Brothel
    The courtesan Tamagoto of Tamaya Brothel by Toyoshige Toyokuni II

    Toyoshige is considered a somewhat mediocre pupil of Toyokuni I but as the artist’s son-in-law he became the head of the Utagawa school after Toyokuni I died. This infuriated Kunisada, who later became the head of the Utagawa school and he had Toyoshige’s name removed from the family roster.Bijin-ga (images of beauties) might be of actual contemporary and historic women or of an idealized type of beauty specific to a time and region. Courtesans in particular were usually depicted in the latest and most elaborate fashions of the day. After an increasing number of censorship laws were passed to limit the production of prints of famous courtesans, thought to corrupt the morals of the citizens of Japan, many artists turned to domestic images of mothers and daughters or women with servants and generalized pictures of the latest fashions in order to satisfy the demand for bijin-ga and skirt the laws.

  • Thumbnail for Shallow porcelain saucer dish
    Shallow porcelain saucer dish

    This doucai enameled dish is decorated with maidens in a terrace garden scene within a border of pine, prunus and bamboo, the “three friends of winterâ€. These plants are emblematic of longevity, as each hearty growth survives the cold, harsh winter months. The dish is inscribed on the base with an apocryphal Ming Dynasty Zhenghua (1465-1487) reign mark, but the decoration, enamel technique and subject matter are clearly 18th century. Width 8 inches; height 1 5/8 inches.

  • Thumbnail for Bronze rice measure - top view
    Bronze rice measure - top view

    This rectangular tapering vessel is an example of the everyday, utilitarian objects that were fashioned in mold cast bronze in the 18th century. The decoration, which incorporates neatly finished human figures in genre scenes along with typical decorative border embellishments, no doubt was fashioned for use in an important household, rather than for use in a less grand setting. 3 3/4in. high, 5 1/2in wide.

  • Thumbnail for Autumn Leaves and Chrysanthemums, full view
    Autumn Leaves and Chrysanthemums, full view by Jin Dui

    Horizontal Chinese painting; ink and colors on paper; 34.2 cm x 27.3 cm; white chrysanthemums, symbol of 9th month, autumn and fruit blossoms; calligraphy and one seal by artist.

  • Thumbnail for Bronze pear-shaped vase
    Bronze pear-shaped vase

    The flattened slender vase has a flaring quatrefoil neck and mouth and two lion masks and rings are cast on to the shoulder. The body of the vase is decorated from above the foot to the mid section with loose fruiting flower branches. Floral decoration was an extremely popular motif during the Qing Dynasty and during this period artists freely departed from the strict orthodoxy of early Ming Dynasty floral décor. 10 inches high by 4.75 inches wide.

  • Thumbnail for Senju Bridge by Night, front view
    Senju Bridge by Night, front view by Shoda Koho

    Yet another print from the Hasegawa series of night scenes, this one foregrounds lantern-carrying pedestrians and a portable shop crossing the silhouetted bridge, with glimmers of light on a distant shore beyond passing boats.

  • Thumbnail for Piece-Mold Bronze Casting Diagram
    Piece-Mold Bronze Casting Diagram

    Diagram showing the various components necessary for casting in the piece-mold process utilized in the Shang era [1500-1050 BCE].

  • Thumbnail for Ken Tenju hanging scroll, 2 seals
    Ken Tenju hanging scroll, 2 seals by Tenju, Ken

    Japanese Edo period hanging scroll with vertically-oriented painting and a brown brocade mounting. The image area is 28 cm x 187 cm and depicts the landscape of a Nanga school with the scene of a mountain and hut to the left, a river to the right, a bridge in the foreground, and an inscription to the upper right.

  • Thumbnail for Ainu, front view
    Ainu, front view by Kawanishi Hide

    This modernist portrait of a representative of Japan’s northern aborigine minority, dressed for a dance performance, is a fine example of figurative printmaking in the sosaku hanga mode.

  • Thumbnail for Colored Landscape
    Colored Landscape by Guo Shiqiang , it is a good example.

    Vertical Chinese scroll painting; ink and light polychrome on paper; image size 35.8 cm x 112 cm; brocade frame mounted on paper, protruding teak roller ends; landscape with pavilions on stilts in river with rocks and trees.

  • Thumbnail for Narcissus and Fungus, characters
    Narcissus and Fungus, characters by Wu Shouxian

    Chinese hanging scroll with vertically-oriented painting; black ink and red on paper; image area 31 cm x 132.5 cm; brocade frame, flush roller with brocade ends; red fungus (mushrooms) regarded as the plant of long life or immortality and symbol of the good; calligraphy, three seals.

  • Thumbnail for Painting of shrimp (detail of shrimp)
    Painting of shrimp (detail of shrimp) by Ch’i Pai-shih (Qi Baishi) (1863-1957)

    (Part of a set of four) Qi Baishi (1863-1957) is perhaps China’s most revered master of the twentieth century. These four paintings are representative of Qi’s floral, fruit and aquatic subjects. The cascading forms, bright colors and strong sense of abstract design in the compositions are characteristic of his style.

  • Thumbnail for Painting of a squash vine
    Painting of a squash vine by Ch’i Pai-shih (Qi Baishi) (1863-1957)

    (Part of a set of four) Qi Baishi (1863-1957) is perhaps China’s most revered master of the twentieth century. These four paintings are representative of Qi’s floral, fruit and aquatic subjects. The cascading forms, bright colors and strong sense of abstract design in the compositions are characteristic of his style.

  • Thumbnail for Shadow puppet (set of 3)
    Shadow puppet (set of 3)

    These shadow puppets represent one of the traditional Chinese crafts. They also represent one of the popular-level puppet theater traditions in China (the others being hand puppets and string puppets). The shadow puppets are cut and carved out of thin sections of hide, which is then given coatings of color. These examples are in pristine condition and retain their brilliant colors. One of the shadow puppets wears a Manchu headdress and Manchu platform shoes. The treatment of the eye sockets suggests that these puppets were made in the Beijing area