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Autumn Trees and Grasses by a Stream

Rimpa School

Period:
Edo period (1615–1868)
Date:
second half of the 17th century
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Six-panel folding screen; ink, color, gold, and silver on paper
Dimensions:
48 in. x 10 ft. 3 in. (121.9 x 312.4 cm)
Classification:
Screens
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1915
Accession Number:
15.127
  • Description

    A stream gently meanders through this composition, flowing through time and space. Unpainted except for the lines of ink that accentuate its softly curving form, it seems to glow against the ground densely scattered with tiny pieces of darkened silver foil. Delicacy and brightness pervade the spring scene. A single clump of red azalea accents the intense green of the pines, in marked contrast to the predominant white blossoms. A glimpse of cherry blossoms in evanescent glory before they scatter on the stream marks the peak of spring, while kerria (mountain roses) in bloom on the far bank betoken its passing.

    The chromatic symphony flows on into autumn, through sunlit plumes of grass and huge, already-brown magnolia leaves that all but obscure the delicate blossoms and bending forms of flowering bush clover and chrysanthemum beyond. A majestic finale accompanies the stream’s exit to the left, as golden ginkgo leaves seem to dance with bold red and white maple leaves in the late afternoon light.

    The manner in which the large masses of pine needles and the broad leaves of the magnolia tree are depicted reflects the stylistic idiosyncrasies of the followers of Ogata Kōrin, who were active in the second half of the seventeenth century.

    (One of a pair; see 49.35.2)

  • See also
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    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
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