119
119

THE PROPERTY OF BARONESS THYSSEN

A MAGNIFICENT PAIR OF IMPERIAL PRESENTATION LACQUER TWO-FOLD SCREENS MEIJI PERIOD, LATE 19TH CENTURY SIGNED MAKIE-SHI YASUI HOCHU NO IN [YASUI HOCHU (1857-1922)] AND SEALED SHIBAYAMA
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119

THE PROPERTY OF BARONESS THYSSEN

A MAGNIFICENT PAIR OF IMPERIAL PRESENTATION LACQUER TWO-FOLD SCREENS MEIJI PERIOD, LATE 19TH CENTURY SIGNED MAKIE-SHI YASUI HOCHU NO IN [YASUI HOCHU (1857-1922)] AND SEALED SHIBAYAMA
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Details & Cataloguing

Fine Japanese Art

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London

A MAGNIFICENT PAIR OF IMPERIAL PRESENTATION LACQUER TWO-FOLD SCREENS MEIJI PERIOD, LATE 19TH CENTURY SIGNED MAKIE-SHI YASUI HOCHU NO IN [YASUI HOCHU (1857-1922)] AND SEALED SHIBAYAMA
the finely decorated two-fold screens each with four framed panels, four in shibayama style to the front, four in togidashi to the reverse, all framed with various chrysanthemum mon in gold hiramaki-e on a black ground, the corners and sides with gilt fittings hammered, chased and engraved with chrysanthemums, each front panel comprising five open fans and three closed fans on one panel and two on the other, all framed in gilt and silver metal edging, the fans depicting cranes, a carriage, egrets, wild flowers by a river, pines in mountainous landscapes, ducks among reeds, chrysanthemums, all inlaid in mother-of-pearl and stained ivory and decorated in gold and silver hiramaki-e, takamaki-e, kirigane, kimpun, heidatsu, gold foil, mura nashiji on kinji and fundame grounds on a gyobu nashiji and black ground, the two large panels above a smaller panel with ho-o birds in very fine shibayama style inlay, the reverse panels in iroe togidashi with egrets among reeds above panels of paulownia all framed in the same manner as the front 
Quantity: 2
each panel: 189.5 x 85.5 cm, 75 x 33 2/3  in.
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Catalogue Note

The sweeping reforms in Meiji period society brought far reaching changes to the production and display of art. With the dissolution of the samurai class, traditional patterns of patronage gave way to new outlets. Metalworkers who had previously made sword fittings now turned their skill to making objects for no other purpose than aesthetic display. Art and craft began to be taught in colleges and art schools. World fairs such as the Vienna International Exposition of 1873 and the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition attracted large numbers of visitors and stimulated markets for Japanese works of art. In 1870, the Department for Industry (Kobusho) was established to develop the arts for export, followed by the Tokyo School of Fine Arts in 1889. A new vogue for Western-style decor in the Victorian mode particularly seen in the domestic furnishings of the Imperial Household prompted Japanese artists and craftsmen to produce a new range of objects. Important screens such as this pair were among this.

Yasui Hochu (1857-1922) began to study lacquer in 1868 under Uematsu Homin (1846-1899). A contemporary of Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891) and the carver Ishikawa Komei (1852-1913), Yasui Hochu became an independent artist in 1878, working for the Seikosha and Kiryu Kosho Kaisha companies.

Yasui Hochu and Ishikawa Komei collaborated with other artists to make an important shodana [cabinet] decorated with deer, probably exhibited at the National Industrial Exhibition in 1890. He exhibited two works at the Japan-British Exhibition, London, in 1910. In 1920, Yasui Hochu participated in the decoration of the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo.

Fine Japanese Art

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London