Writing Box with Gourd

School of Shibata Zeshin Japanese

Not on view

One of the first Japanese lacquer artists to become popular in the West, Shibata Zeshin was noted for his technical skills, imaginative compositions, invention of painted lacquer techniques, and experimentation with new colors and inlays of different materials. The brownish-red gourd that dominates the composition of this lacquer writing box is one of the motifs he used most often. The gourd, which is associated with spring, is shown here surrounded by seasonal flowers and grasses such as the dandelion.

Writing Box with Gourd, School of Shibata Zeshin (Japanese, 1807–1891), Black lacquer with gold and silver hiramaki-e, colored lacquer application, Japan

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