Turning Point: Oribe and the Arts of Sixteenth-Century Japan

Overview

Japan's Momoyama period (1573-1615) was brief but dramatic, witnessing the struggles of a handful of ambitious warlords for control of the long-splintered country and then the emergence of a united Japan. It was an era of dynamic cultural development as well, for the daimyos commissioned innovative artworks to proclaim their newly acquired power. One such art was a ceramic ware known as Oribe, which, appearing mysteriously and suddenly, rose to prominence for use in the tea ceremony. Boldly painted and displaying...
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Overview

Japan's Momoyama period (1573-1615) was brief but dramatic, witnessing the struggles of a handful of ambitious warlords for control of the long-splintered country and then the emergence of a united Japan. It was an era of dynamic cultural development as well, for the daimyos commissioned innovative artworks to proclaim their newly acquired power. One such art was a ceramic ware known as Oribe, which, appearing mysteriously and suddenly, rose to prominence for use in the tea ceremony. Boldly painted and displaying playful new shapes, these dashing wares matched the extroverted world of the warlords. Similar stylistic and technical inventiveness characterized painting, lacquerware, and textiles of the period. Eleven essays by leading scholars and about two hundred catalogue entries present outstanding examples of all these extraordinary works and examine the social and cultural contexts in which they were created.

Author Biography: Miyeko Murase is Special Consultant for Japanese Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This book is the catalogue for the first exhibition on the subject held in the United States, which was organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in collaboration with The Museum of Fine Arts, Gifu, Japan, and will be held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (October 21, 2003 to January 11, 2004).

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The refined Japanese custom of ritualistically drinking frothy green tea in ceramic bowls was perfected during the bloody era of internecine strife that unified the Japanese islands into a single polity. To the outsider, the idea of aesthetes and warlords quietly contemplating the merits of warped, cracked, and misfired ceramics in an aura of refined appreciation is somewhat odd. However, to the followers of the Way of Tea at the time, aesthetics were a matter of life and death. Futura Oribe, a tea master for whom the beautiful, multipatterned ceramics featured in this exhibition catalog are named, was reputedly forced into committing suicide by the ruler of Japan for aesthetic offenses that included purposely breaking tea ceremony ceramics so that subsequent repairs would make them more picturesque. All this and much more can be gleaned from this catalog, which accompanies an exhibition at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. Superb photos (293 color) place the tea ceremony ceramics in the context of 16th-century Japanese textiles, screens, and lacquer. Particularly interesting is the influence of the first European traders, whose ventures are depicted on dramatic screens. Accessible to the general public and essential for artists, art historians, and students of Japan.-David McClelland, Philadelphia Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300101959
  • Publisher: Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Publication date: 10/28/2003
  • Series: Metropolitan Museum of Art Series
  • Pages: 408
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Table of Contents

Director's Foreword
Message from the Governor of Gifu Prefecture
Message from the Director of The Museum of Fine Arts, Gifu
Sponsor's Statement
Lenders to the Exhibition
Acknowledgments
Contributors to the Catalogue
Map of Japan
Note to the Reader
Art in the Volatile World of Furuta Oribe 2
Furuta Oribe and the Tea Ceremony 16
Catalogue
Tea Utensils before Oribe 30
Japanese Ceramics before Oribe 38
Japan, Portugal, and the World 50
Ceramics from Mino Kilns 66
Gleanings from Ceramic Shards 88
The Tea Master Oribe 98
Oribe Ceramics and the Oribe Imagination 114
New Currents in Painting and Patronage after Hideyoshi 204
Lacquerware in the Momoyama Period 286
Tsujigahana Textiles and Their Fabrication 318
Literature for Catalogue Entries 356
Bibliography 362
Index 379
Photograph Credits 390
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