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Peter Suart. Pictures of Pictures

Written in a poetic style, this article discusses the author’s own portraits of Japanese inro. In depicting a three-dimensional object, a painter, illustrator or graphic artist is able to roll out, to fan and to selectively adjust, lengthen or shorten. However, some distortion is inescapable: inro are generally parallel-sided, so distortion only arises around the edges. The artist unwraps, unfolds, rolls out, with care, with craft, with delicacy, as willing and admiring servant of the inro-maker’s art. When successful, such a painting is an aesthetic adjunct to the object and an independent work of art.

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July/August 2019
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