Miniature Inrō with design of firewood-laden Boats on Waves

Artist: Shibata Zeshin (Japanese, 1807–1891)

Artist: copied from a design by Hon'ami Kōetsu (Japanese, 1558–1637)

Period: Meiji period (1868–1912)

Date: 19th century

Culture: Japan

Medium: Gold maki-e with mother-of-pearl inlay on black lacquer; netsuke of hardwood with cloisonne

Dimensions: H.1 7/8 in. (4.8 cm); W. 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm)

Classification: Inrō

Credit Line: Gift of Florence and Herbert Irving, 2015

Accession Number: 2015.500.2.44

Not on view
The small boats that plied the misty waters of the Uji River often appear in Japanese classical literature as images of rusticity and human vulnerability. They are a potent and recurring motif in the later chapters of the Tale of Genji. This miniature is copied from a design by the Rimpa artist Kōetsu, who took such unmistakable literary references and distilled them into striking forms.
Signature: In bottom corner: Zeshin
[ Alice Boney , New York, until 1985; sold to Irving]; Florence and Herbert Irving , New York (1985–2015; donated to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "East Asian Lacquer from the Florence and Herbert Irving Collection," November 22, 1991–February 23, 1992.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Seasonal Pleasures in Japanese Art, Part II," May 1, 1996–September 8, 1996.

Asian Art (35,645)