A set of three polished mulberry stacking trays decorated with lacquered florals with gold appliqué and gofun signed and stamped by Kamizaka Sekka, Imao Keinen and Takeuchi Seiho and enclosed in the original wooden storage box. All three teachers served as Professors at the Kyoto School of Painting. The trays are 16 x 11 x 2 inches (40 x 28 x 5 cm) to 13 x 9 x 1-1/2 inches (33 x 23 x 6 cm) and are in overall fine condition, bu for some separation at the base due to shrinkage.
Kamisaka Sekka (1866-1942) is the godfather of 20th century Japanese design and the Rimpa revival. He was born in Kyoto in 1866, one of six siblings. From 1882 he began his artistic career, however did not take-off until visiting the Paris Expo in 1901, where he was exposed to Art Nouveau and Western industrial design concepts. He was adept as a painter and designer in an assortment of other media, working with various artisans to bring to life his ideas. He was employed as a teacher at the Kyoto Municipal School of Art (future University of Fine Art), and was widely exhibited and prized throughout his career, which ended in retirement in 1938.
Takeuchi Seiho (1865-1942) will be a subject of any discussion of 20th century Japanese art. He learned painting from the famous Shijo school artist Kono Bairei and traveled to Europe, where he solidified his own unique style. One of the most influential of early 20th century painters, he served as a teacher at the Kyoto Municipal School of Arts and Crafts, a member of the Imperial Art Academy and was a member of the Bunten from its establishment, serving on the selection committee. He is hailed as one of the founders of the modern Kyoto School, and received innumerable awards including the order of Cultural Merit.
Imao Keinen (1845-1924) studied painting and calligraphy with Umegata Tokyo and Suzuki Hyakunen. He taught at the Kyoto Prefecture School of Painting, and exhibited in shows in Japan and Paris. One of the most well-known Japanese painters of his time, he became a member of the Art Committee of the Imperial Household in 1904 and the Imperial Art Academy in 1919,