Inro with Design of Hollyhock Flowers and Buds
Attributed to Ogata Kōrin, Japanese, 1658 - 1716
This inro (a compartmented container that would have been hung at the waist, and would have held medicine or other kinds of small objects) is decorated with a design of hollyhock flowers and buds. Ogata Körin looked to the bold style developed by Hon'ami Koetsu and Tawaraya Sotatsu for inspiration for his designs. He came from a family of textile designers and was raised in an atmosphere of privilege and artistic refinement. Neither Körin or his brother Kenzan had a head for business, however, and Körin began to paint and design textiles and lacquerware like this piece to help pay the bills.