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Birds and Flowers of the Four Seasons

Period:
Momoyama period (1573–1615)
Date:
second half of the 16th century
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Pair of six-panel folding screens; ink, color, and gold on gilt paper
Dimensions:
Image: 63 1/4 x 142 in. (160.7 x 360.7 cm) Overall: 69 3/8 x 148 1/2 in. (176.2 x 377.2 cm)
Classification:
Screens
Credit Line:
Purchase, Mrs. Jackson Burke and Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation Gifts, 1987
Accession Number:
1987.342.1, .2
  • Description

    This screen, one from a pair featuring a composition of flowers in a seasonal progression from spring to winter, celebrates eternity with its auspicious motif of cranes. The brilliant colors, strong outlines in black ink, and profusion of pictorial elements are typical of the decorative formula established by Kano Motonobu (1476–1559), founder of the Kano school. The boldness, however, is more reminiscent of the prolific Kano-school painter Eitoku (1543–1590), and the treatment of branches is far closer to Eitoku’s style than to that of Motonobu’s other successors. The exaggerated dimensions of the trees, the attempt to create space for the projecting branches in the crowded composition, and the depiction of brushwood hedges in high relief suggest a late sixteenth-century date.

  • Provenance

    [ Yamanaka & Co. , at least 1939] ; [ Heisando Co., Ltd. , Tokyo; by 1986–1987; sold to MMA]

44523

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