Happy Birthday Shibata Zeshin!! Contemporary Japanese lacquer painter, born in 1807, in Edo (Modern day Tokyo) Zeshin began as an apprentice to a lacquerer at age 11. His father and grandfather were carpenters and wood carvers; his father was also a painter. He studied sketching, painting and the formal Japanese Tea Ceremony. He became quite accomplished at ink painting as well as lacquerware. Sadly, much of his work has been lost. The image below is one of a pair of lacquered screens titled Autumn Grasses at Moonlight.
Laquer-A natural sticky sap applied to the surface of screens, tea sets, bowls, etc, making them shiny and waterproof. Zeshin is known to be a master at the craft.