japanese screens

Flowers of the four seasonsA pair of six-panel folding screen  DATEEdo Period (1615-1867), 19th centuryMEDIUMInk, color and gold flakes on paperDIMENSIONS138 by 304 cmNOTESSealed by the artist in red ink This pair of screens belongs to a genre of lyrical paintings of flowers, grasses, and other plants that flourished around the middle of the seventeenth century and became a specialty of the Sôtatsu studio. The use of a rather complex composition of clusters of flowers and the puddling of ink was initiated by Tawaraya Sôtatsu, the founder of the Rimpa school, who was active from 1600...

Field of Pinks and Rising MoonA six-panel folding screen DATEMomoyama period, 17th centuryMEDIUMInk, colors, gold leaf, and silver on paperDIMENSIONS166 by 360 cm A field of wild pinks (nadeshiko; Dianthus superbus) blooms under a rising moon in this six-panel folding screen. The anonymous artist arranged the flowers, a relative of the carnation, in dense, rhythmical clusters in three horizontal registers in the lower half of the screen, above which clouds of gold leaf merge with the gilded sky. Interspersed between the layers of flowers are passages where flecks of silver foil, now...

Rakuchū Rakugai ZuViews of Kyoto

Edo period, mid 17th century

Pair of six-panel folding screens; ink, colors, and gold on paper
Each 121 by 282 cm  Folding screens depicting the ancient capital city of Kyoto and its surroundings (rakuchū rakugai zu) are among the most popular genres of Japanese painting. The broad surfaces of folding screens (byōbu) were ideally suited to the panoramic cityscape, as they afforded artists opportunities both to present sweeping vistas of the capital and to focus on details of everyday life in the city. Kyoto screens first appear in documents in the...

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