Lacquer Paintings of Various Subjects: Drum for Gagaku Dance

Shibata Zeshin (Japanese, 1807–1891)
Meiji period (1868–1912)
Lacquer on paper
7 1/2 x 6 1/2 in. (19.1 x 16.5 cm)
Credit Line:
The Howard Mansfield Collection, Purchase, Rogers Fund, 1936
Accession Number:
Not on view
The strong color effect seen in this album is achieved by using lacquer as a painting medium. Painting with lacquer on paper was one of the techniques Zeshin developed into his own style. Despite the heavy material, Zeshin's skillful brushwork and his technical inventions with the material made it possible to create various textures as with ink painting. In addition, some lacquer techniques, like mother-of-pearl inlays and the creation of rough surfaces, are also used. Up until the middle of the Meiji period, lacquer was limited to roughly five colors—black, brown, vermillion, green, and yellow—which determined the color palette of Zeshin's lacquer paintings.
Signature: Zeshin

Marking: Seal: Koma
Howard Mansfield , New York (until 1936; sold to MMA)
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