Um par de biombos Namban venderam hoje na Christie’s NY por $4,786,500. Perante os acontecimentos no Japao, este e’ um resultado impressionante e que demonstra o interesse que o encontro das culturas europeias e japonesa levanta.
Desconhecidos e nunca publicados, estes biombos tinham tudo para ser um sucesso em praca e percebe-se o empenho que a leiloeira pos na sua venda. Representando a Nau do trato no porto de Nagasaqui, tem os selos de Kano Naizen (1570-1616).
“The earliest Nanban screens date to around 1600 and they continued into the second quarter of the seventeenth century. The novel subject fascinated the Japanese, and the Kano-school atelier as well as other professional painting studios in Kyoto made numerous versions in the early seventeenth century for clientele prepared to enjoy the strange costumes and odd physiognomy of these tall, hairy and long-nosed Southern Barbarians, a throwback to the outlandish imagery familiar from the iconography of Daoist immortals.
Some ninety-two Nanban screens are now recorded and Japanese scholars have determined that the subject ranked second in popularity only to screens depicting Scenes in and around the Capital (Rakuchu rakugai zu; see lot 862). What accounts for this high demand? One theory about the use of these screens is that their foreignness and abundance of luxury goods were viewed as a charm for happiness and prosperity. Trade was without question auspicious and generated wealth, and the original owners of such screens were for the most part merchants in port cities. Thematically, the paintings continue a tradition of now-lost screens of Chinese trade ships that were in vogue during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries at the peak of the Sino-Japanese tribute missions that brought entourages numbering in the thousands from the Ming court.3
Far from being oddities, Nanban screens are recognized as the product of mainstream Kyoto painting studios, in an indigenous style typical of genre screens of the late Momoyama and early Edo periods. The present example, stored away for four hundred years, is in exceptionally fine condition and features the gold leaf and jewel-like colors of costly ground malachite and azurite that signal the work of a master.”