Japan

Coming, like all the arts of the Far East, from China, which provided him with techniques and models, Japanese art is distinguished, however, by the originality of its creations. When, in the 6th and 7th centuries, Japan opened up to continental influences under the cover of Buddhism, it applied itself to the school of craftsmen who came from Korea to initiate it.

The first true Japanese works of art date from the 2nd millennium BC when ceramics moved from its strictly utilitarian role to become ornamental. At the same time, craftsmen also produced masks made of shells and, later, clay, as well as figurines, the dogū. On the eve of the Common Era, Japan was invaded by tribes from China and Korea and adopted some of their cultural traditions. The craftsmanship will be influenced in the work of copper and bronze.

Japanese society was turned upside down around the 6th century, when Buddhism spread throughout the archipelago. The culture is transformed in parallel and Korean and Chinese influences, but also Indian, are found in particular in the architecture, in the sculpture or in the adoption of the technique of lacquer. The main works of this period relate to religion, Buddha statues, gongs or incense burners.

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Painting develops at the same time and very quickly reaches an unparalleled refinement. Around the 9th century, Japanese painting differs from Chinese art and adopts the Yamato-e style emphasized by the Tosa School, while the first Japanese narrative scrolls, the emaki, make their appearance. The Japanese also developed the Chinese technique of woodcutting and produced their own prints characteristic of the ukiyo-e art movement in the 17th century. Weapons, mainly Japanese swords, are also considered works of art and must be made according to specific techniques.
Japanese art is characterized by the finesse of the decorations, the craftsmen are masters in the art of chiseling, in the work of ivory and lacquer, in calligraphy and in miniature.

In order to obtain an estimate of Japanese antiques, it is essential to call upon a professional who carries out an expertise of prints, jewellery, porcelain and paintings, especially before an auction on the theme of Japan.
Specialized in Asian art, the expert bases his work on the study of the supports, the techniques used and the themes addressed to determine the period of manufacture of the object.
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