Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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伝土佐光信筆 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
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 226
The traditional Chinese subject of bamboo is given a distinctly Japanese treatment in this rendition of the four seasons. Stands of mature bamboo, leafy young bamboo plants, and tapering bamboo shoots are loosely grouped across the surface of this pair of screens, with violets and shepherd’s purse clustered near the bases of taller stalks. Beginning on the right, the seasons progress from spring to winter, although young bamboo branches, bowing as though caught in a breeze, unify the composition. The tallest bamboo plants extend upward beyond the picture plane, while the stems of younger plants are cropped by the lower border. This, along with the absence of dense clumps of foliage and the distant haze suggested by a light application of gold in the background, creates an impression of vast space. The artist appears to have mixed characteristics of different bamboo species for decorative effect.
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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