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Four kiri panels are set into a rosewood framework, each uniquely painted by Osaka Literati paragon Mori Kinseki. It is 12 x 12 x 11-1/2 inches (30 x 30 x 29 cm) and is in fine condition. The brass insert too, looks almost unused. Included is a small folding fan in the original box by the artist as well.
Mori Kinseki (1843-1921) was born the third son in a family of Inn owners in the hotsprings town of Arima, Hyogo prefecture, in 1843. At the age of three he was sent away to be raised by an inn owner in Osaka, Mori Ihei. By the age of 19 he was studying painting under Kanae Kinjo, and joined the circle of poets and scholars around Mega Yusho. After the opening of Japan with the fall of the Edo government, he traveled to Tokyo, where he studied western style perspective under Takahashi Koichi, and shortly thereafter the name of Mori Kinseki begins to appear in art annals, initially as a bronze plate lithographer (in 1881 one of his lithographs was exhibited at the 2nd Domestic Industrial Exhibition), and became associated with the Seikoku Bunjin group of literati artists. His bronze plate work was well known, and he illustrated more than 100 books, becoming the leading artist in that field in Kansai. At the age of 40, in 1883, he helps to found the Nihon Nanga-kai organization of literati painters, and the following year takes up a professorship at the new Naniwa School of Painting in Osaka. In 1890 he is named a designated artist to the Imperial Household Agency (and in 1913 would be named a member of the Imperial Art Academy or Teishitsu Gige-In). His works were not just submitted to many of the National Exhibitions of the Meiji and Taisho eras, but he he was in fact made a judge at many of these affairs.