Four Imari ware porcelain figures

From Japan
Edo period, late 17th-19th century AD

Light-hearted figures, almost caricatures, were made largely for export to Europe, where they were not always recognized as Japanese. However, they are clearly Japanese in style. These four were all made in and around Arita in northern Kyūshū and are decorated in underglaze blue and overglaze coloured enamels in Imari style. All four of the figures appear to be lifting their robes with their right hands in traditional fashion to show off the fine designs.

From left to right:

a) The man in kimono and outer robe decorated with chrysanthemums is from the late seventeenth to early eighteenth century.
b) The woman with the large hair-comb is from the late eighteenth century.
c) The woman is from the late seventeenth to early eighteenth century
d) The smaller woman with hair-comb is from the eighteenth to nineteenth century.

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More information

Bibliography

L. Smith, V. Harris and T. Clark, Japanese art: masterpieces in (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)

Dimensions

Height: 36.500 cm (a)
Height: 36.500 cm (a)
Height: 36.500 cm (a)
Height: 36.500 cm (a)

Museum number

Asia JA 1964.7-15.1;Asia JA 1976.12-6.2;Asia JA F486;Asia JA 1964.7-15.2

JCR8138;JCR8549;JCR63;JCR8139

Figure b) Gift of Douglas Barrett in memory of Soame Jenyns
Figure c) Gift of Sir A.W. Franks

Location

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