A pair of Imari porcelain Putai sit on drum Maximize

A pair of Imari porcelain Putai sit on drum

Imari porcelain
Arita kilns 17th century (1660-1690)
Height : 23,5 cm
French private Collection

The god Hotei, seated on a high Japanese drum decorated with peonies and chrysanthemums  painted in overglaze red, green, turquoise, purple and gold enamels, and openwork patterns of mallow leaves. Dressed in a large green cloak decorated with floral foliage which largely reveals his belly, in his back a large bag on which are perched children and dogs, and holding a fan in the right hand. The round, chubby face with distended ears lobes animated by a laughing  expression and a broad smile. Hotei is the most popular of the seven Gods of Good Fortune (Shichi Fukujin). This deity with Taoist origin is considered by the Buddhists as an incarnation of the boddhisattva Maitreya (Miroku bosatsu). In Japanese popular culture, it is called Putai no San, literally "Mr Cloth Sack".