Shibata Zeshin: Gift Box of Japanese Sweets

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Artist: Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891)
Title: Gift Box of Japanese Sweets
Series: Hana kurabe (A Comparison of Flowers)
Date: ca. 1880

We see an opened gift box of formal wagashi, Japanese sweets, that have been shaped into shells, plum blossoms and an auspicious fish, probably sea bream. We can guess that this might be a New Year’s gift. The series Hana Kurabe was published between 1875 and 1890 in ten groups of 12 prints each, and showcase Zeshin’s terrific mastery of the Rimpa style and his sly sense of humor. Zeshin is considered the premier lacquer artist of his time, but he also studied painting in the Maruyama-Shijo school style. With sparkling mica added to the sweets.

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition. 
Dimensions: chûban (19 x 25.6 cm)
Publisher: Shogyokudo
Signature: Zeshin 

Literature: Brooklyn Museum, MIA, Smithsonian all of works from this series in their collections.