A wood sculpture of Jizo Bosatsu Attributed to Kosho (1534-1621), probably Momoyama Period
Lot 382
A wood sculpture of Jizo Bosatsu Attributed to Kosho (1534-1621), probably Momoyama Period
£25,000 - 30,000
US$ 39,000 - 47,000

Lot Details
A wood sculpture of Jizo Bosatsu Attributed to Kosho (1534-1621), probably Momoyama Period
Another property
A wood sculpture of Jizo Bosatsu
Attributed to Kosho (1534-1621), probably Momoyama Period
Carved in yosegi zukuri (joined wood-block construction) from cypress wood and assembled in separate sections, painted on a gesso ground, the Bodhisattva is seated on a lotus pedestal before a halo, in a slightly informal, half-cross-legged position, the figure is imbued with a combination of divine aloofness and human compassion, shown in the guise of a monk with shaved head, his right hand carrying a long staff (shakujo and in his left a small wish-granting jewel. The figure 60cm (28 5/8in) high, the base 34cm x 37cm x 24cm (13 3/8in x 14½in x 9½in). (5).

Footnotes

  • 木彫地蔵菩薩坐像 伝康正 推定桃山時代

    Although the history of this statue is incomplete, the current owner had a photo taken of the interior of the sculpture's hollow construction. As illustrated, the name and rank of the sculptor Kosho is indicated as well as that of the person, Mr Kimura who commissioned the sculpture.

    Kosho 康正 (1534-1621), who is thought to be the son of Koshu 康秀 (not to be confused with Kosho 康勝, Unkei's fourth son, active between late 12th to early 13th century) is one of the best sculptors of the Momoyama Period. He lived in Kyoto and served as a chief sculptor at To-ji. He was primarily engaged in the repair and restoration of existing statues in the various buildings of To-ji, as well as at the Toyokuni shrine, Shokoku-ji, Kongobu-ji and Myoho-in. According to the chart on p.20 of the Muromachi Jidai Butsuzo Chokoku (Buddhist Statues in the Muromachi Era), Nara Kokuritsu Hakubustukan, 1970, Kosho's father is of the same lineage as Kokei and Unkei, who together with Kaikei was the leading sculptor of Kamakura Realism. Kosho, by dint of being his father's son, is by corollary also in the Kei School lineage.

    Jizo Bosatsu 地蔵菩薩 (Sanskrit: Ksitigarbha, Chinese: Dìzàng Púsà) is one of the most beloved Japanese deities, traditionally seen as the guardian of children, and in particular, of children who died before their parents. Jizo is a Bodhisattva (Jp. Bosatsu), one who achieves enlightenment but postpones Buddhahood until all beings can be saved. Jizo 地蔵 is often translated as 'Womb of the Earth', where ji means earth, while zo means womb. Zo can also be translated as 'repository of treasure'; thus Jizo is often translated as 'Earth Store' or 'Earth Treasury'.

    Yosegi-zukuri, or the joined wood-block construction, is a sculpting method in which several rectangular blocks of wood are individually selected and carved into shapes. Yosegi-zukuri, together with ichiboku-zukuri (single block construction), are the two main techniques associated with wood sculpture in Japan. There were a several advantages of a sculpture made from multiple blocks of wood. It was much lighter than one carved out of a single block of wood. The technique also helped to minimise the cracking of the wood caused by the outside layer drying faster than the core of the sculpture. In addition, it was faster, as it allowed the individual blocks to be carved simultaneously by several artisans specialising in particular kinds of carving, which in turn led to development of an assembly-line production and a true studio.

    Literature: Nihon no Bijutsu, no.506, July 2008, Shibundo, Tokyo; Muromachi Jidai Butsuzo Chokoku (Buddhist Statues in the Muromachi Era), Nara Kokuritsu Hakubustukan, 1970; Mason, Penelope, History of Japanese Art, 2nd edition, Pearson, 2004.
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