Decorative Miniature Sculptures

Decorative Miniature Sculptures
9 records
Probably the most significant change in netsuke in the late 19th century was their transformation from functional objects to decorative objects. The introduction of Western-style clothing — with pockets — to Japan precipitated the end of the traditional carrying cases and pouches that had been used for generations, suspended from kimono sashes. At the same time that the Japanese themselves had a diminishing need for netsuke, tourists and foreigner collectors were acquiring them in growing numbers. The combination of these two factors virtually eliminated the functional role of these carvings. Artists, now free to design pieces that weren’t compact, rounded, or otherwise suitable for wear, began producing an almost limitless variety of new designs and forms. okimono-type netsuke flourished, as did elaborate groupings and narrative scenes with complex compositions. - Chris Drosse, LACMA, (2006)