VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Seigan (“Altar of Christ on the Cross”)
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

The gate fold chest is designed to be placed flush against or hung on a wall. The lacquerware is of the type intended for export but was ordered for use in a church. The compartment contains an oil painting of the crucifixion of Christ. The surface of the chest is decorated with patterns of flora and fauna in gold- and silver-coated maki-e (a sprinkling technique) lacquer with mother-of-pearl inlays. The edges are adorned with repeating geometrical arabesque and similar patterns. It is important Cultural Property.

History of the Object
This type of “altar” (also called an “artophorion” or “tabernacle”) has been discovered throughout Europe in recent years. It is thought that a considerable number of these works were made for the west and that this sample is one that made its way from Japan.

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Type
Decorative Art 
Materials
lacquered wood, 1 
Measurements
(Depth) 4.8cm 
Creator name
Unknown  
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Japan 
Geography
Japan 
Time period
AD 16th century ~ AD 17th century 
Creation date
16th Century - 17th Century; Momoyama Period 
Function
worship 
Acquisition
It is the current policy of the Tokyo National Museum not to publish the acquisition history of its collection on the Internet. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Tokyo National Museum 
Museum
Tokyo National Museum 
Credit line
Tokyo National Museum 

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