Japanese Bronze Pheasant Okimono Genryusai Seiya


Genryusai Seiya 源龍斎誠谷造

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    Unusual Casting of a Pheasant in Flight

    From our Japanese collection, we are delighted to offer this Japanese bronze okimono of a Pheasant upon a naturalistic root wood base. The Pheasant cast from bronze with gilded feathers standing seconds before taking flight. With an extreme attention to detail Seyia has captured a stunning representation of the male pheasant with intricate detailing from the bill to the claws. Signed under the belly within a square tablet, Genryusai Seiya 源龍斎誠谷造. The Bronze Okimono dates to the Meiji Period (1868-1912) circa 1890.

    Genryusai Seiya is one of the most celebrated Japanese bronze artists of the Meiji period. His workshop specialised in export wares of supreme quality, including animals, vases, and human figures. Most commonly Seiya bronzes can be seen as tigers and elephants often in single form or small groups. Renowned for his attention to detail, Seiya manages to encapsulate a natural and realistic look to every figure that has you checking twice to see if it is indeed a sculpture.

    Meiji Period was an era of Japanese history that spanned from 1868 to 1912. It was the first half of the Empire of Japan, when the Japanese people began to build a paradigm of a modern, industrialised nation state and emergent great power, influenced by Western countries and aesthetics. As a result of radically different ideas, the changes to Japan were profound and it affected the social structure, politics, economy, military, and foreign relations across the board. The period corresponded to the reign of Emperor Meiji and was preceded by the Keio era and was succeeded by the Taisho era.

    Cultural Art during the Meiji Period was of particular interest to the government and they overhauled the art export market which in turn promoted Japanese arts via various world’s fairs, beginning in Vienna at the world fair in 1873. The government heavily funded the fairs and took an active role organising how Japan’s culture was presented to the world including creating a semi-public company named Kiritsu Kosho Kaisha (First Industrial Manufacturing Company). The Kiritsu Kosho Kaisha was used to promote and commercialise exports of Japanese art and established the Hakurankai Jimukyoku (Exhibition Bureau) to maintain quality standards. For the 1876 Centennial International Exhibition in Philadelphia, the Japanese government created a Centennial Office and sent a special envoy to secure space for the 30,000 items that would be displayed. The Imperial Household also took an active interest in arts and crafts, commissioning works by select artists to be given as gifts for foreign dignitaries further emphasising the high quality and importance of Japanese art. Just before the end of the 19th century in 1890, the Teishitsu Gigeiin (Artist to the Imperial Household) system was created to recognise distinguished artists. These artists were selected for their exceptionally high quality wares and talent in their own industry. Over a period of 54 years Seventy artists were appointed, amongst these were ceramicist Makuzu Kozan and cloisonné enamel artist Namikawa Yasuyuki.

    Measurements 46cm High x 46cm Wide x 25cm Deep inc. Base (18.1 x 18.1 x 9.8 Inches)

    Condition Excellent

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