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Landscapes in Summer and Winter

Ike no Taiga (Japanese, 1723–1776)

Period:
Edo period (1615–1868)
Date:
18th century
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Hanging scroll; ink on silk
Dimensions:
38 3/4 x 18 3/16 in. (98.4 x 46.2 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1964
Accession Number:
64.55.1
  • Description

    These paired images function as contrasting emblems of winter and summer. Fiat horizontal lines suggest quiet, dormant winter and the forlorn boat elicits a shiver of sympathy from the viewer. Summer, on the other hand, is filled with color and cheer; the forms of rocks and foliage seem to tumble over one another, giving the whole mountain a sense of growth and energy.

    This diptych represents two activities that personified the ideal literati life. The winter scene depicts fishing from a boat, a pastime appreciated in the literati tradition as a humble means of experiencing nature, a Taoist ideal of daily life. The summer scene depicts the visit of a friend. Taiga enlivens both of these scenes with a strong narrative feel. Particularly in the summer scene, he engages our attention by suggesting, for example, that the friends might climb up the mountain to the viewing deck to enjoy the scenery. To highlight such narrative moments, he judiciously uses accents of bright red.

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
48990

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