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Kenzan I (Ogata Kenzan)

Powdered Tea Container (chaki)

Artist

Kenzan I (Ogata Kenzan)
Kyoto 1663 – Edo (now Tokyo) 1743

Title

Powdered Tea Container (chaki)

Date

Early 18th c.

Materials

Stoneware, painted decoration in underglaze iron oxide brown and white slip

Dimensions

6.8 cm (h.), 4.9 cm (diam.)

Credits

Adaline Van Horne Bequest, inv. 1944.Ee.17a-b

Collection

Archeology and World Cultures

Tawaraya Sōtatsu (active about 1600-1640) established the highly decorative Rimpa style, known for its striking natural motifs and references to classical poetry. Sōtatsu was followed by Ogata Kōrin (1658-1716), whose name was later given to the style (rimpa means “school of Kōrin”), and Kōrin’s brother, Kenzan (1663-1743). While Kōrin was famous for his paintings and textiles, Kenzan was best known for his ceramics painted in colourful underglaze and overglaze enamels. Kenzan’s innovative work was fashionable among the prosperous townsmen (chōnin) of the Edo period and emulated by potters for over a century. Its simplicity and formal effects also resonated among the members of the Aesthetic Movement in Britain, where a veritable “cult of Rimpa” spread among artists, including Bernard Leach (1887-1979).

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