Shibata Zeshin 柴田是真 (1807-1891) PANEL WITH DESIGN OF FARMHOUSE IN THE SNOW AT SANO 雪中佐野(「鉢の木」)図蒔絵額面 Meiji era (1868–1912), 1883 (4) Suzannah Yip
FARMHOUSE IN THE SNOW AT SANO LACQUER PANEL
BY SHIBATA ZESHIN Sold for £842,500 in London, 5 November 2014 A world record for the artist at auction

Art Market Review

Issue 9, July - December 2014

Page 6

Shibata Zeshin produced a number of large-scale lacquer panels during the last two decades of his career. Clearly intended to emulate the scale and impact of framed Western oils and establish lacquering as an independent painting medium, these panels are among Zeshin's most unusual and striking works. This panel appears to be the only one by Zeshin to feature human figures. Its explicit narrative theme is in strong contrast to traditional Japanese storytelling lacquers, which often make only understated, hard-to-catch,references to the texts on which they are based. Here Zeshin, very likely influenced by contemporary Western history painting, adopts an explicit approach and includes virtually all the essential components of a famous Noh play's plot: the two protagonists, the snowy landscape, Tokiyori's horse, and the three plants which Genzaemon sacrifices in order to fulfil his duties as host.

Suzannah Yip
Director of Japanese Art

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  1. Suzannah Yip
    Author
    Bonhams
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