Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, LA California USA, 1 October 2016

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The previous post was at the Pavilion for Japanese Art at LACMA; this is from our viewing of the rest of the Art Museum.  (Click images for larger size).

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Royal Peacock Barge, West Bengal, India, late 19th century.

Miniature ivory depiction of pleasure boat of the Nawab of Bengal.

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This is a very modern installation, dated to just before the time we were visiting.  It is perhaps somewhere between pop art, dada and surrealism.  The artist is not credited.

The assemblage is somewhat anachronistic amongst historical exhibits but does include some references to 19th century Indian works.  It is perhaps intended to depict the sense of wonder at the extent to which modern art styles can sometimes diverge from the traditional.

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Panel, Gururat, India, early 18th century.

Wood applique with bone; brass roundels.

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Altar cabinet, Kham region, eastern Tibet, 19th – 20th century.

Wood with mineral pigments and gilding; brass fittings.

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Hindu God Vishnu, Angkor, Cambodia. c. 950AD (sandstone).

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Folio from a Buddhist manuscript illustrated with Buddha’s birth stories (Thailand c. 1860-80), atop Sutra Box (Thailand 1920-40, wood laquer and gold leaf).

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Buddha Shakyamuni, Sukothai, Thailand, 14th-15th century (copper alloy).

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Maharishi (Great Sage) Agastya, Lakhi Sarai, Bihar, India, 12th century (chloritoid phyllite).

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Dancer’s headpiece in the form of Hindu Godess Kali, Kerala, India, late 15th century (wood with paint).

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The Goddess Sarasvati, Gujurat, India, 1153 by Jagadeva.

Sarasvati, goddess of wisdom and knowledge, embodies the mediæval Indian concept of feminine beauty.  Jagadeva was commisioned to create this sculpture to replace an earlier sculpture of Sarasvati that was dedicated in a Jain temple in 1069 but damaged in 1152.

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The Hindu Goddess Kali, Kerala, India, 17th century (wood with traces of paint).

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Athena, 2nd century Roman copy of Greek original from the late 5th century BC School of Pheidas.

Athena is the Greek goddess of wisdom and of war waged for just causes.  She wears a breastplate decorated with the heads of gorgons, the monsters whose piercing gaze turned people who met their eyes to stone.  The hollow eye sockets indicate that eyes were originally inlaid and of course, as with all ancient Greek and Roman sculptures, she would originally have been painted in bright colours.  The statue was excavated at Ostia, the port of Rome, in 1797.

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Portrait of Cosimo I de’ Medici (1519-1574), c. 1572 by Giovanni Bandini (also called Giovanni dell’Opera) (marble).

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Madonna and child in a landscape c. 1496-1499 by Cima de Conegliano (Oil on panel).

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Saint Crispin (France, c. 1500 (limestone with traces of polychromy).

Saint Crispan is the patron saint of shoe makers.  He and his brother Saint Crispian were tortured for their Christian beliefs and beheaded in 285AD.

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The Swineherd, 1888, by Paul Gauguin (oi; on canvas).

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La Place du Théâtre Français, 1898, by Camille Pissaro (oil on canvas).

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Le Havre, bâteaux de peche sortant du port (fishing boats leaving the port), 1874, Claude Monet.

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Cabinet, c. 1650-75, from Grand Ducal Workshops (Galleria dei Lavori), (ebony, marble, jasper, lapis lazuli and various hard stones, and bronze with gilding).

The birds and flowers that appear to be painted are actually hundreds of pieces of richly hued pietre dure or hard stones, so the designs are laboriously painted in stone.

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

Eagle-headed demon ritually expelling sickness and evil spirits from the house, possible purifying anyone entering the King’s living room.

This and following reliefs once adorned the interior walls of the palace of the Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II (reigned 883-859 BC).  They are from ancient Kalhu (now called Nimrud).  He was the first Assyrian king to use stone panels on the interior wall of his palace which was built in mud brick on a stone foundation.  The reliefs were originally painted in black, white, red and blue.

In 879 BC Ashurnasirpal held a large festival to celebrate the construction of his new capital which remained the centre of the Assyrian Empire for 150 years.  It was surrounded by a massive city wall forty-two feet high (thirteen metres) and five miles long (eight kilometres).  At that time it bordered on the Tigris River.

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A winged human-headed genie wearing a double bull horn mitre that may be a supernatural projection of the king.

He holds a conical fruit that he has presumably dipped in the bucket of pollen held in preparation for fertilisation of the Tree of Life, an important symbol in Assyrian religious belief.

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Art, Cabinets, History, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Travel

The king holds a libation bowl and a bow, and he is accompanied by a human-headed genie carrying a bucket.  Both are engaged in ritual ceremony.

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Fragment of a painted Assyrian relief, Neo-Assyrian dynasty, Northern Iraq, 7th century BC (limestone).

It probably depicts King Sargon (reigned 722-705 BC) and still shows traces of the colourful paint that once adorned all Assyrian reliefs.

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Head of a Royal Guard from Persepolis, Achæmenid period, Southern Iran, 5th century BC (limestone).

This fragment once belonged to the inner decorated panel of the eastern staircase of the Apadana, the sumptuous audience hall of the Achæmenid kings at Persepolis.

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20th century sculpture but I missed the label.  Giacometti maybe?

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Netsuke Gallery, LACMA

Netsuke Gallery, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, LA California USA, 1 October 2016

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Close by La Brea Tar Pits, we next visited the Pavillion for Japanese Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (ACMNA).

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Haniwa Horse from 6th century.

Haniwa are terracotta clay figures buried with the dead as funerary objects.  They are from the Kofun period of 3rd to 6th century AD, when horses were first domesticated in Japan and this would have been from the grave of an important person, probably in Southern Honshu.

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Chest of drawers from the 18th century.  Lacquer over wood with gold and silver flakes.

It is decorated with several views around Lake Biwa and was made for the lord of Hikone Castle.

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Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel

Jar from Kamakura period, c. 1200-1400AD.

Tokoname ware; coil-built stoneware with ash glaze.

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Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel

Female Shinto deity, 14th century.

Due to a close association of Shinto with the Imperial Court, such figures were shown in court robes as real people and were kept in close shrines, not viewable by devotees.

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Sake bottles, 17th to 19th centuries.

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Contemporary vessel by Shimizu Ichiji, 2012.

Stoneware with sprayed slip decoration.

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(No description.  I didn’t photograph the label).

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Daruma by Torei Enji, hanging scroll, ink on silk, 18th century.

Daruma was the semi-legendary Zen Master who brought Zen from China to Japan in the early 6th century.  Torei Enji was himself an eminent Zen Master who wrote a description of Zen practice, still read today, entitled “The undying Lamp of Zen”.

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Kanzan and Jittoku by Shunso Shoju, ink on paper, late 18th or early 19th century.

Kanzan and Jittoku were enlightened people who lived on Cold Mountain (Hanshan) in China in about the 9th century and they are symbolically represented in this drawing.  Here is a poem by Kanzan (or Hanshan to the Chinese):

Men ask the way through the clouds,

The cloud’s way dark, without a sign.

High summits are of naked rock.

In deep valleys sun never shines.

Behind you green peaks, and in front,

To east the white clouds, and to west –

Want to know where the cloud way lies?

It’s there, in the centre of the Void!

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(No description.  I didn’t photograph the label).

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Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel

This is the first of the netsuke.  Three others follow.  They are unique to Japan and because kimono had no pockets.  Instead, the Japanese used inro or segmented hanging boxes.  They were on a cord which went through the netsuke and attached to the obi or kimono sash.  The netsuke prevented the inro and cord slipping out from beneath the obi.

They needed to be light and small yet strong and support a hole through them so they are masterpieces of miniature design.

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Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel .

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Art, History, Japan, LACMA, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Netsuke, Photography, Travel .

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European archer, 18th century.

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