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Gordon Campbell



Sofía Sanabrais

Name used in Mexico and throughout Latin America for a folding screen. The word biombo is a transliteration of the Japanese word for folding screen—byōbu—an acknowledgement of its place of origin. The Japanese byōbu has long been a quintessential example of Japanese art and was a common diplomatic gift to foreign courts in the early modern period (see Screen, §1). Referred to as the ‘face of Japanese diplomacy’, byōbu were presented as ambassadors of Japanese culture to places as far off as London and Mexico City. Byōbu also found their way to New Spain as exports in the Manila Galleon trade. In 17th-century Mexico the Japanese screen was admired by artists and patrons, and was adapted and reinterpreted on a grand scale. The unique format of the biombo provided new ways for artists to depict subject-matter, and locally made biombos began appearing in the archival record in the first years of the 17th century. ...



Gordon Campbell

[burgaudine; Burgos mother-of-pearl]

Decorative material used for inlays derived from a group of tropical shells of which the most common is Turbo marmoratus. It was long used in Europe for the decoration of weapons, cutlery and small boxes. In China and Japan the technique known in Europe as laque burgauté or lac burgauté...



Japanese, 18th century, male.

Born 1716, in the village of Kema, near Osaka; died 1783.

Painter, draughtsman, illustrator, decorative artist. Landscapes, animals. Screens.

Nanga School.

Buson was one of the creators of the Nanga (literati) School. It was only at the beginning of the 17th century that the ...


Chinese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1963, in Jinan.

Painter, draughtsman. Figures, genre scenes. Wall decorations.

Cai Yushui graduated from Shandong Art Academy in 1985 and had his first solo exhibition in that city in 1988. In 1994 he won his first prize at an official show, the ...


Monique Riccardi-Cubitt

Term derived from chinois (Fr.: ‘Chinese’) denoting a type of European art dominated by Chinese or pseudo-Chinese ornamental motifs. The term is most often applied to decorative arts produced from the second half of the 17th century to the early 19th, when trading contacts between Europe and East Asia were at their height.

Although overland and sea routes had brought a steady supply of Asian spices, silk, furs, ivory and other commodities to the ancient world, it was Marco Polo who first fired the imagination of the West with his description of his travels and experiences at Kublai Khan’s court that he published after his return to Venice in 1295. Other travellers also recorded their tales, the most famous being the pseudonymous ‘Sir John Mandeville’ whose Travels was published in Lyons in 1480. Its fairy-tale evocation of the Near East and East Asia was translated into every European language and fuelled a longing for ‘Cathay’. This romantic vision, taking the various forms of Chinoiserie, ...


Gordon Campbell

Furniture foot, popular in the 18th century, characterized by the representation of an eagle’s claw clasping a ball; in the Chinese bronzes from which the motif derives, the foot is a dragon’s claw.

M. Headley: ‘Carving a Ball-and-claw Foot: Tracing the Techniques of a Williamsburg Cabinetmaker’, Fine Woodworking, 84 (Sept–Oct 1990), pp. 83–7...


J. Hardy

(b Spa, Belgium, 1657; d Bensberg, 1715).

Belgian Japanner, active in Berlin. He practised as a decorative artist in Spa before moving in the 1680s to Berlin, where he became famous for his painted furniture. By 1687 his proficiency in gilding and decorative painting, particularly japanning, which imitated lacquerwork from East Asia (see Lacquer, §I, 2), gained him the post of Kammerkünstler to Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg. On the accession in 1688 of Frederick III, Elector of Brandenburg (after 1701, Frederick I of Prussia) he retained responsibility for interior decoration and furnishings at the court and in 1696 was appointed Intendant des Ornements. His brother Jacques Dagly (1665–1729) joined him in the management of the firm, which provided gilded, polychromed and japanned cabinets as well as such other furnishings as treen painted to imitate porcelain for the royal palaces. Their clients included harpsichord manufacturers as well as the nobility, and such was their fame that in Paris their cabinets became known as ‘Berlin’ cabinets. They embellished snuff-boxes, cane knobs, sword guards and tin wares and invented methods of applying ...


Chinese, 20th century, male.

Born 1944.

Painter, decorative artist. Landscapes. Stage sets.

Duan Zhenzhong graduated from the Central Academy of Arts and Crafts in 1964. He is currently chief set designer of the Beijing Film Studio. In 1989, he won the Coq d’Or for best set design....


Chinese, 20th century, male.

Active in France.

Born 26 December 1900, in Chengdu (Sichuan).

Painter, lacquerer. Landscapes.

Fang Yong was taught traditional Chinese painting from an early age. He continued to paint in this style after moving to France in 1919, but also taught himself to paint in a western style, while retaining certain Chinese elements through his lacquer work. He rarely exhibited. In ...


Japanese, 20th century, male.

Active in France from 1953.

Born 5 September 1925, in Japan; died 1 March 1982, in Paris.

Painter, decorative artist.

Paul Fujino first studied in Japan. Arriving in France in 1935, he attended the Académie Julian and the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts, where he worked under Souverbie, between ...


Japanese, 20th century, male.

Active in Paris from 1913, naturalised in 1955.

Born 27 November 1886, in Edogama, near Tokyo, baptised in 1959; died 29 January 1968, in Zurich.

Painter (including gouache), watercolourist, draughtsman (including ink/wash), fresco artist, print artist (including lithography/etching/aquatint), illustrator, decorative artist...


Japanese, 20th century, male.

Painter, decorative artist, installation artist, performance artist. Multimedia.

Hibino Katsuhito graduated from the design division of the fine arts department of Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music in 1982. He takes part in group exhibitions. He took part in the Sixth Sydney Biennial, and exhibited his work in a one-man show at Hajuku, Japan, in ...


Oscar P. Fitzgerald

Technique for imitating Asian Lacquer. Once Dutch and Portuguese traders imported lacquer ware from the Far East after 1700, Europeans became fascinated by this technique. Originating in ancient China, it spread to Japan where it is still practiced in the 21st century. The process involved the application of up to a hundred coats of lacquer produced from the sap of the Rhus vernicifera tree, native to China, Malaya, and Japan. Despite attempts to discover the secret, Europeans could not duplicate the process. Since the sap quickly congeals it did not travel well and was toxic like poison ivy.

In 1688 A Treatise of Japanning and Varnishing by John Stalker and George Parker explained how to imitate the process by applying shellac dissolved in alcohol over a gessoed surface (see Stalker and Parker). Black was the most common color but red, white, blue, green, yellow, olive brown, and imitation tortoise shell (black streaked with vermillion) were also known. After designs were drawn on the surface, a mixture of red clay or sawdust, whiting, and gum arabic was daubed into the outlines and the raised images were sculpted with engraving tools and then colored with metal dust. A variation called ...


Phylis Floyd

French term used to describe a range of European borrowings from Japanese art. It was coined in 1872 by the French critic, collector and printmaker Philippe Burty ‘to designate a new field of study—artistic, historic and ethnographic’, encompassing decorative objects with Japanese designs (similar to 18th-century Chinoiserie), paintings of scenes set in Japan, and Western paintings, prints and decorative arts influenced by Japanese aesthetics. Scholars in the 20th century have distinguished japonaiserie, the depiction of Japanese subjects or objects in a Western style, from Japonisme, the more profound influence of Japanese aesthetics on Western art.

There has been wide debate over who was the first artist in the West to discover Japanese art and over the date of this discovery. According to Bénédite, Félix Bracquemond first came under the influence of Japanese art after seeing the first volume of Katsushika Hokusai’s Hokusai manga (‘Hokusai’s ten thousand sketches’, 1814) at the printshop of ...


(b Hong Kong, 1896; d England, 1985).

English designer. With her husband David Joel shortly after World War I she founded Betty Joel Ltd, which was based in a workshop at Hayling Island near Portsmouth, Hants. Early Joel furniture was made in oak, teak and mahogany and executed by craftsmen in an idiosyncratic style of Arts and Crafts combined with Neo-Georgian. In the 1930s a shop was opened in Knightsbridge, London, and manufacturing moved to a factory in Kingston-upon-Thames, designed for the company by H. S. Goodhart-Rendel. By this time Joel’s designs were influenced by the Modern Movement: mostly expensive pieces made to commission in light-coloured woods and veneers. Serpentine, curved and bow-fronted work was produced, as well as simpler planar and ‘stepped’ furniture (e.g. oak dressing-table, 1931; London, V&A). Wood, steel and glass were used for the framework of the furniture, with such luxury materials as ivory for the handles. As well as space-saving and built-in furniture for small modern flats, the firm, working to the drawings of the Joels or other designers, produced lavish interiors for such clients as ...


Japanese, 20th century, male.

Born 1935, in Nagasaki (Fukuoka Prefecture).

Painter, engraver, decorative artist.

Kikuhata studied at the Fukuoka Prefectural Graduate School from 1950 to 1953. From an early, highly decorative, geometric abs­traction, he moved to hyperrealism. In 1964 he decorated the interior of Kanagawa Pre­fecture’s power station. In ...


Japanese, 19th – 20th century, female.

Born 1861, in Tokyo; died 1939.

Painter, watercolourist, lacquerer.

Tama Kiyohara started by studying Japanese painting but switched to Western painting, studying with Vincenzo Ragusa, whom she later married. She left for Italy, where she worked with Lo Forte. She settled in Palermo and only returned to Japan in later years. She exhibited in both Rome and Palermo, won the Grand Prize at the New York International Exhibition and exhibited at the Venice Biennale. She mainly painted flowers and fruit....



Japanese, 16th – 17th century, male.

Active in Kyoto.

Born 1558; died 1637.

Painter, potter, draughtsman, calligrapher, decorative artist. Portraits, flowers.

Koetsu, a great calligrapher, painter, potter, decorator and patron of the arts, played a major role in the cultured world of Kyoto in the early 17th century. At this period, the city’s great merchants, grown wealthy from trade with China, were active in the cultural life of the city, giving themselves over to the tea ceremony, flower arranging, poetry and calligraphy. Koetsu was born into this potent environment to a celebrated family of sword polishers and appraisers who enjoyed the trust of the Ashikaga governors. He received a scrupulous education and followed in his father’s footsteps, while cultivating the art of calligraphy. With Konoe Nobutada and Shokado Shojo, he is reckoned as one of the Three Brushes of the early century. His art signals a return to the elegant calligraphy of the Heian period (794-...



Japanese, 17th – 18th century, male.

Born 1658, in Kyoto; died 1716.

Painter, draughtsman, decorative artist. Figures, portraits, flowers, animals. Screens.

Rimpa School.

Korin, a celebrated painter, may be regarded as the true successor of the genius of Sotatsu (fl. c. 1630), and the artist who carried it into the 18th century. His life is well known from the archives, notebooks, correspondence and collections of sketches which he bequeathed to his heirs. Born into a family of rich Kyoto clothiers who owned the important Karigane-ya shop, he spent a happy youth in cultured surroundings. His father, Ogata Soken (...