A 'maiko' is an apprentice geisha. The word comes from the kanji mai, meaning "dance" and ko that designates a "girl". In fact, with her white make-up and elaborate hairdo and kimono, for Westerners the maiko is the stereotype of a geisha. Drawing inspiration from these young women, Lladro has created a piece of outstanding beauty. Lladro artists have used the exotic subject matter as a pretext to display all their know-how in ornamentation, decoration and floral work. On a sculptural level, it is a very original piece in terms of composition: the sleeve of the kimono drapes over the pedestal, giving the hand holding the fan a more natural and delicate appearance. Finally, the pedestal itself, especially designed for this piece and inspired by Zen furniture, completes a truly unique piece.
The spectacular floral cascade of wisteria and other varieties of spring flowers is inspired by the traditional headdresses decorating the hairdos of apprentice geishas. The wisteria flower, a symbol of love and of womanhood in Japanese culture, is particularly complex to reproduce due to its cascading shape. The meticulous ornamentation applied to the kimono was inspired by the dresses worn by the maikos in their apprenticeship, generally more sumptuous than those they will eventually wear after becoming fully fledged geishas. The fan, reminiscent in ways of the decoration of Japanese panels and folding screens, features the sakura or cherry blossom, one of the best known symbols of Japanese culture. In point of fact, in spring, when the cherry tree begins to blossom the Hanami festival is organized in its honor. We should not overlook the wide palette of colors used in the decoration, with liquid colors for the flowers in the kimono, enamels for the branches of the cherry tree, painting pastes for the flowers of the fan and also on certain details of the kimono to further enhance the ornamental work, particularly in the geometric pattern of the collar. Limited edition of 3,500 - Base included 14.5 x 11.75