Suzuki Kiitsu (Japanese, 1796–1858)
Pair of six-panel folding screens; ink, color, and gold on gilded paper
70 3/16 x 149 1/2 in. (178.2 x 379.8 cm)
Seymour Fund, 1954 (54.69.1,2)
In this vivacious display of purple and green, Suzuki Kiitsu has concentrated on the exuberant proliferation of the blossoms and leaves through space and omitted natural settings or context. The brilliant outburst is carefully orchestrated into two movements: the blossoms on the right rise from the ground, while those on the left cascade down as if supported by an unseen trellis.
Suzuki Kiitsu, trained as a textile dyer, studied painting under Sakai Hoitsu (17611828), with whom he prepared an illustrated book, Korin hyakuzu (One Hundred Paintings by Korin), a compendium of classic Rinpa art. Evident in this work is the influence of both the art of textile design and of the Rinpa school in the brilliant decorative effects of thick mineral pigments on gold leaf.