The Kura - Japanese Art Treasures

Robert Mangold has been working with Japanese antiques since 1995 with an emphasis on ceramics, Paintings, Armour and Buddhist furniture.
In accordance with the requests of local authorities our Kyoto gallery will be closed to visitors from April 14th until further notice.

Large Blue & White Bowl by Kiyomizu Rokubei III

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Porcelain: Pre 1900: Item # 1452354

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The Kura
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817-2 Kannonji Monzen-cho
Kamigyo-ku Kyoto 602-8385
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A complex pastoral landscape circumnavigates this large basin by Kiyomizu Rokubei III enclosed in the original signed wooden box. The basin is slightly out of round, 29.5 x 31 x 13 cm (11-1/2 x 12 x 5 inches). There is a firing flaw at the rim, but no later damage.
Rokubei III (Koto Kuritaro, 1820-1883) was born in Kyoto second son of Rokubei II. His landscape painting was strongly influenced by the Nanga artist Oda Kaisen, from whom he learned decorating techniques. He took over the family kiln even younger than his own father at the age of 18 in 1838. It was Rokubei III who would acquire a large climbing kiln, from which subsequent generations would fire, and placing the Rokubei lineage at the center of the nations Ceramic Art Scene. This was the beginning of the Bakumatsu era, the fall of the Edo Shogunate, and Kyoto would play centre stage in this tumultuous era. Vagabonds, Rebels, Reformers and Loyalists made mayhem in the streets and battles raged across the city while foreign powers leveraged unfair treaties against the reluctant Shogun. Many advanced techniques were imported to Japan through Rangaku (Dutch studies) at the open port of Nagasaki and then from a growing number of locations after the arrival of Commodore Perry in 1853. In 1868 the Edo government fell, and the capital was moved to Tokyo. Rokubei III was aware of the advantages of modernism, while maintaining the traditions of the former generations. He went to Yokohama with Miyagawa (Makuzu) Kozan in 1868. However, he was persuaded to remain in Kyoto (along with a branch of the Makuzu family) to modernize the Kyoto ceramic industry, and although he did create works in the modern style and to suit Western taste, (he was one of the artists commissioned to create pottery for the 1879 visit of former US president Ulysses S. Grant) he maintained a fairly conservative oeuvre oriented toward the Japanese aesthetic. He excelled in porcelain wares, and was much lauded in his lifetime being awarded at a multitude of domestic exhibitions as well as internationally in Paris, Sydney and Amsterdam. Like his forebearers, he was very much a part of the Kyoto scene at the time, and many works created by Rokubei III were decorated by top painters of the era. Important works by poet/artist/nun Otagaki Rengetsu were created in the studio of Rokubei III. Work by Rokubei III is held in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of art New York, the Kyoto Hakubutsukan Museum and Ashmolean among others.