Ritsuo school inro

19th century

inro with shell motif and decorated risers

height 2 5/8 in., 6.7 cm

four case lacquer inro bearing a dark brown rough ishime (stone) ground depicting a watery view of takamaki-e rocks, shells, sea creatures and plants, with red and dark coral and a gold and red starfish, details further embellished with sprinkled gold lacquer, placed kirikane, placed aogai, dusting of aogai and sprinkling of specks of red lacquer, the stylized waves highlighted with green lacquer, with inlaid ivory and mother-of-pearl shells; the risers with green lacquer ground and decorated (from bottom to top) with hiramaki-e patterns of pine needles, persimmon, autumnal maple leaves and a sections of a leafy plant; signed Ritsuo with raised lacquer (simulating metal) artist's seal Kan; with small coral-colored lacquer ojime decorated with hiramaki-e butterflies

Ogawa Haritsu, or Ritsuo (1663-1747) was an artist of many disciplines who achieved fame for his innovative use of materials in lacquer and for developing a new esthetic in Japanese decorative arts. His characteristic lacquer utilizing inlays (including pottery, ivor y, colored stone, shell, and wood) and simulating other materials (such as metal, and stone) was so distinctive, the style became known as Haritsu makie (Haritsu-style lacquer) in his own era. This esthetic was carried forward by prominent artists such as Hanzan and Jukkyoku in the 18th century, and Yoyusai and Zeshin in the 19th century. This inro, with a subtle simulated stone ground and numerous inlays is typical Haritsu makie, but the finely decorated risers are a delicate embellishment more suited to the tastes (and technical achievements) of late 19th century lacquer artists.

open view


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(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm preferably for no more than two individuals at a time.
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site last updated
October 21, 2021

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475