Flower of Dai Crafts Meiji Cloisonne-Technique and Beauty that Fascinated the World | Sano Art Museum


Exhibition Catalog of 110 pages of the beginning of modern cloisonne / Kodenji Hayashi / cloisonne of Owari / Yasuyuki Namikawa / cloisonne of Kyoto / Sosuke Namikawa. This publication, printed in Japanese, contains beautiful color images of Cloisonne which is an enameling technique in which the pattern is formed by wires soldered to the surface of the object to be decorated, which is usually made from copper, forming cells or cloisons, each of which holds a single colour of enamel paste which is then fired, and ground and polished.

Japanese artists introduced many innovative techniques to cloisonné art. They achieved well-delineated colors and designs without wires, expanded their ground choices to include clay or glazed porcelain, and were not shy in experimenting with new mediums and colors such as gold or silver speckles, foils, and pitch black. Above all, they added painterly designs to their repertoire making the Japanese cloisonné unique and different from the Chinese prototypes that employed mostly patterns and had more limited color choices of enamel. 

The most noticeable difference between Japanese and Chinese cloisonné is the glassy surface. Japanese cloisonné is almost always finely ground and buffed to achieve this polished jewel-like transparency on the surface. Another striking difference is in the realistic design. On Japanese cloisonné, natural trees and flowers are preferred and realistically rendered (seen above) while Chinese works dominantly use auspicious symbols, such as dragons and lotus scrolls, in simplified patterns and designs

Also unique to Japanese cloisonné is the use of colors, particularly in the background. Japanese artists use a blank ground of various colors to contrast with the realistic scenes depicted and to provoke a poetic mood as seen in the example below, whereas Chinese artists used dominantly turquoise blue and rarely left their background blank, instead, they are filled with a pattern or two.

Japanese cloisonné technique is applied to vessels of various shapes, often as an okimono for artistic enjoyment and appreciation, while Chinese cloisonné is applied to decorate variously shaped bronze animals, such as shishi, horses, and ducks, to ward off evil or to ensure good fortune.

The Sano Art Museum was founded by SANO Ryûichi(1889-1977), with his collections in 1966. He was born in Mishima and finished Nirayama High School and Kuramae High School(the present Tokyo Institute of Technology). 

Condition: New softbound with slipcover in excellent condition and unbroken spine.