VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Cabinet/Zushi with Buddha statue
MPE 38024
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

The term zushi means a little portable altar in which a holy statue is preserved. This large lacquered wooden zushi with rich metal trimmings, bears the Tokugawa’s family “mon”. The statue inside represents Amida Nyorai standing on a lotus flower. Modelling refinement renders to perfection the calm expression of those who reached the “satori” and entered the “Nirvana”. The golden aureole, behind figure’s back, is light and graceful. A mirror, signed Hitomi Shigetsugu saku, is placed on a level with Amida’s head. The mirror maker was active at the beginning of the Edo period.

History of the Object
According to Japanese tradition, each artist was a specialist of a sole subject: sculptors producing Buddha statues are called Busshi, those producing Netsuke are called Netsukeshi, and so on. Vincenzo Ragusa, by his teaching at Kobu Bijutsu Gakko, introduced the Western idea of a free subject sculpture.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Lacquered wood, metal 
Measurements
Mirror: diameter cm. 7 
Creator name
Hitomi Shigetsugu (mirror maker) 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Japan 
Geography
Japan 
Time period
AD 17th century ~ AD 19th century 
Creation date
17th Century - 19th Century; early Edo period (1603-1868) 
Function
Religious 
Acquisition
Purchased by Vincenzo Ragusa, 1888 (see n° 131917) 
Copyright
©Soprintendenza al Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico Luigi Pigorini, Roma 
Acknowledgements
Text: Francesco de Feo, Loretta Paderni Photo: Fabio Naccari, Giorgio Bronchi © Soprintendenza al Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico "Luigi Pigorini", Roma 
Owner
Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico Luigi Pigorini, RomaState property, Italy 
Museum
Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico  
Credit line
 

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