A Fine 17th Century Ko-Imari Landscape Dish

c.1655 - 1670

A Fine 17th Century Ko-Imari Landscape Dish, Arita Kilns c.1655-1670. The center is decorated using an unusually rich and strong cobalt blue, the central scene depicts a rocky outcrop with pine, huts and a tall building. Below are two sailing ships in calm water. The intense blue is in stark contrast to the ’empty space’ to the right of the design. For the Japanese, this space isn’t empty, it is something in its own right, it is Ma (間).  Ma means the space between, a pause or gap, that has value in its own right. It is central to understanding Japanese aesthetics, what we might think of as empty is in fact a positive, and as important as the things around it.  The broad flaring border is painted in a pale, almost lilac blue, which was popular at this period. The drawing uses the Sumihajiki technique (wax resist) to depict prunus and a tree, perhaps an pine tree. The large mark is very much of the period and was introduced in the mid-17th century and went out of fashion by about 1670.

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In excellent condition, very minor scratches. Firing fault, a very small double unglazed patch on the reverse of the rim.
Diameter : 18.5 cm (7 1/3 inches).
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