Ishikawa Rensai - ryusa-style manju
Asakusa, circa 1860
A bone ryusa-style manju, deeply carved with a design of a frolicking shishi and peony blossom. The musculature and spine of the shishi are finely detailed, enhancing the dynamic sense of movement as it appears to leap downwards towards the dense petals and foliage. The background is mottled to create a cloud-like impression. The work is reminiscent of Tokoku’s style, though more boldly carved, rather than stippled.
The undercutting of the high relief design reveals Rensai’s consummate skill in tackling such a hard material. The eye is inlaid in dark horn.