Imari: Porcelains for Shoguns and European Kings, 1610-1760

Exhibition Motif

The production of porcelain began in Japan some 400 years ago. At that time, the country was in a state of 'national isolation' (sakoku), but exports were extensively made through the offices of the Dutch East India Company. Diverse wares were made in response to the worldwide market, and a difference between 'eastern' and 'western' types is apparent, clearly intended to reflect discrepancies in lifestyle and taste. This can be especially clearly seen in the case of Nabeshima porcelain, which was made both as gift items for the Tokugawa Shogunate, and on commission from European royal and noble houses.
Porcelain is the most technologically advanced ceramic, and was enthusiastically sought after by European merchants, first in China and then in Japan. It was produced for the first time in Europe in the 18th century, at Meissen (Germany), and rapidly copied, but always retaining its original Chinese and Japanese influences.
Introduced in this exhibition are porcelains produced between the 1610s, when the first Japanese porcelain was made, and the 1750s when its export was most active.

Venue / Date International Museum of Ceramics in Faenza
(Exhibition title: JIKI: Japanese Porcelains 1610~1760)
26 June 2004 - 7 November 2004

The Japan Cultural Institute in Paris
(Exhibition title: Imari-Porcelains for Shoguns and European Kings, 1610-1760)
26 November 2004 - 2 April 2005

The Royal Museums of Art and History
(Exhibition title: Imari-Porcelains for Shoguns and European Kings, 1610-1760)
15 April 2005 - 28 August 2005
Organizers The Japan Foundation, the City of Faenza and the International Museum of Ceramics in Faenza
Special Cooperating Institute Kyushu Ceramic Museum
Sponsor Japan Airlines
Curator Mr. Koji Ohashi, Vice-Director of the Kyushu Ceramic Museum
Sections Total: 97 works / 113 items (including 1 Important Cultural Property)
  1. (1)The Origins and Development of Imari: Japanese taste
    18 works / 22 items
  2. (2)Porcelains for Japanese Shogun and European Kings: differing lifestyles and tastes reflect different shapes and designs
    40 works / 44 items
  3. (3)Masterpieces of Imari for the European Market: designs, forms and styles for European rulers
    25 works / 33 items
  4. (4)European Ceramics Imitating Imari Originals
    14 works / 14 items

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