Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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四季竹図屏風
Bamboo in the Four Seasons

Artist:
Attributed to Tosa Mitsunobu (1434–1525)
Period:
Muromachi period (1392–1573)
Date:
late 15th–early 16th century
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Pair of six-panel screens; ink, color, and gold leaf on paper
Dimensions:
Image (each): 61 13/16 in. × 11 ft. 9 3/4 in. (157 × 360 cm)
Classification:
Screens
Credit Line:
The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975
Accession Number:
1975.268.44, .45
Not on view
This pair of six-panel screens combines the traditional Chinese subject of bamboo with the four seasons. Starting on the right, the sequence begins with spring, where violets and shepherd’s purse are clustered at the base of a bamboo grove. Early summer is represented in the last two panels of the right screen and the first two panels of the left screen with the stout, conical forms of new bamboo shoots. Slender bamboo stalks entwined with red-tinged ivy suggest autumn. A stand of bamboo heavily weighted with snow brings the composition to a wintry close. The rhythmic cadences of the bamboo, arranged with reference to a ground plane, typify the decorative approach to screen composition practiced by artists of the Tosa school.

An inscription on the left screen by Tosa Mitsuoki (1617–1691) attributes the work to Tosa Mitsunobu, who is considered the school’s founder.
Tokyo Metropolitan Tein Art Museum. "Exhibition to Commemorate the 500th Anniversary of the Founding of Edo Castle (Ohta Dokan Kinen Bijutsuten)," October 5, 1986–November 9, 1986.

Cleveland Museum of Art. "The Triumph of Japanese Style: 16th Century Art in Japan," October 19, 1991–December 1, 1991.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Japan," 1995.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Seasonal Pleasures in Japanese Art (Part One)," October 12, 1995–April 28, 1996.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Resonant Image: Tradition in Japanese Art (Part One)," 1997–98.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Great Waves: Chinese Themes in the Arts of Korea and Japan I," March 1, 2003–September 21, 2003.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces from the Permanent Collection," July 2, 2005–November 29, 2005.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Poetry and Travel in Japanese Art," December 18, 2008–May 31, 2009.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Five Thousand Years of Japanese Art: Treasures from the Packard Collection," December 17, 2009–June 10, 2010.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Japanese Bamboo Art: The Abbey Collection," June 13, 2017–February 4, 2018.

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