Gomai-dō tosei gusoku with “Kyu” kamon, Mid-Edo period, 18th century
Japanese Art and Antiques, Giuseppe Piva Japanese Art
March 16-25, 2022
Opening reception, Friday, March 18, 5-9pm
Adam Williams Fine Art
24 East 80th Street
New York 10075
This season Giuseppe Piva returns to New York from his base in Milan with an exceptional array of Japanese armor, ceramics, paintings, and metalwares. Each item is presented with the gallery's thorough research that explains its history, artistic importance, and aesthetic sensibilities.
Jizai Okimono, A russet-iron articulated figure of a hawk, Edo period, 19th century
One of the highlights of this season's exhibition is a jizai okimono in the form of an alert hawk. Jizai okimono are realistically shaped figures of animals. Their bodies and limbs are articulated, and can be moved like real animals; among these figures are found models of dragons, birds, fish, snakes, lobsters, crabs and insects. This iron hawk, constructed of numerous hammered plates jointed inside the body, can move its head, wings and claws remarkably smoothly. Its finely chiseled feathers move individually and can spread, which enhances its realistic appearance.
The fearsome beauty and predatory features of hawks, with their sharp beaks, keen eyes, long curving talons, made them metaphors of martial training and the warrior spirit since the Muromachi period. Samurai found in the brave and daring nature of these birds a congenial expression of their ideals, and hawks became a preferred theme in painting. To collect and maintain fine hawks constituted a status-symbol of the warrior class.
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