mid- to late 1600s
(Japanese, active 1600s)
Stoneware with white glaze (Shigaraki style)
Diameter: 28.7 cm (11 5/16 in.); Overall: 28.3 cm (11 1/8 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1978.6
Japanese Gallery 235 Rotation - October 2020-April 2021
This jar may be considered an example of the aesthetic known as kireisabi, or refined rusticity.
Nonomura Ninsei is best known for elaborately glazed and painted works, but this piece recalls Shigaraki ware in basic composition. Shigaraki ware is recognized for its warm orange color, asymmetrical round forms, and irregular natural ash glazes. These features were largely unintentional on the part of their makers, whose principal goal was a functional jar. Some tea masters employed Shigaraki vessels as found objects manifesting effortless and imperfect beauty. In Ninsei’s take on Shigaraki, though, careful symmetry is used as a backdrop for deliberately subtle and pleasing deviations such as would appeal to a tea master interested in refined rusticity.
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