Many of KOuns sculptures appear unfinished to eyes trained in Occidental galleries, whereas the Japanese connoisseur detects evidence of a technical feat in their seeming roughness.
Perhaps the aged master and connoisseur regarded as barely less trying the hard necessity of parting with a beloved antique bust of Faustina.
In the eyes of a Chinese connoisseur, no blue-and-white porcelain worthy of consideration exists, or ever has existed, except the kai-pien-yao, with its imponderable pdle, its wax-like surface, and its rich, glowing blue, entirely free from superficiality or garishness and broken into a thousand tints by the microscopic crackle of the glaze.
In some cases the whole object is a modern reproduction in electro-plate, but more often really old articles from which the original plating has been worn off in course of time have been replated, both equally being in the eyes of the connoisseur, unworthy of serious attention and comparatively valueless.
Hence it is that the Japanese connoisseur draws a clear distinction between the decorative design and its technical execution, crediting the former to the pictorial artist and the latter to the sculptor~ He detects in the stroke of a chisel and the lines of a gravin~ tool subjective beauties which appear to be hidden from th great majority of Western dilettanti.
That theory is based upon the fact that after the opening of the country to foreign intercourse in 1857, hundreds of inferior specimens of netsuke were chiselled by inexpert hands, purchased wholesale by treaty-port merchants, and sent to New York, London and Paris, where, though they brought profit to the exporter, they also disgusted the connoisseur and soon earned discredit for their whole class.
That the results achieved with these different materials are not comparable is a fact which every connoisseur must admit.
There is a radical difference between the points of view of the Japanese and the Western connoisseur in estimating tbe Japanese merits of sculpture in metal.
Okamuia Yasutaro, commonly called Shozan, produces specimens which only a very acute connoisseur can distinguish from the work of Nomura Ninsei; Tanzan Rokuros half-tint enamels and soft creamy glazes would have stood high in any epoch; Taizan YOhei produces Awata faience not inferior to that of former days; Kagiya SObei worthily supports the reputation of the KinkOzan ware; Kawamoto Eijiro has made to the order of a well-known KiOto firm many specimens now figuring in foreign collections as old masterpieces; and ItO TOzan succeeds in decorating faience with seven colors sons couverte (black, green, blue, russetred, tea-brown, purple and peach), a feat never before accomplished.
Lawrence in The Connoisseur (April 1905).
It need scarcely be said that tiles have rather increased in value than deteriorated in the eyes of the connoisseur, that the ornamentation of metal-work, wood carving and inlaying, gem and seal engraving, are exquisite of their kind, and that the carpets manufactured by skilled workmen, when left to themselves and their native patterns, are to a great extent unrivalled.
Of the artistic periodicals we may signalize the Art Journal (1849), Portfolio (1870), Magazine of Art (1878-1904), Studio (1893), Connoisseur (1901), and Burlington (1903).
At supper after the opera he described to Dolokhov with the air of a connoisseur the attractions of her arms, shoulders, feet, and hair and expressed his intention of making love to her.