Wood panel carved with tiger

Japan, Edo period, 17th or 18th century

Height: 30 inches, 76 cm
Width: 14 inches, 35.5 cm

A wood rectangular panel carved in openwork high relief, depicting a tiger amongst bamboo plants. The front of the panel has a simple wood frame, which is attached to the back panel with iron bolts. The tiger is depicted with coiled body, its head lowered and its tail held aloft.


The precise function of this beautifully carved panel is unknown, but it probably served as a cover for a window. The fact that it is carved in openwork strongly suggest such a function. The general style of carving has much in common with Japanese painting and in
particular with the style of the Shijo Maruyama School, which flourished in Kyoto in the late 18th and 19th centuries.