Birds and Flowers of the Four Seasons


Not on view

This composition of flowers shown in a seasonal progression from spring to winter, paired with an auspicious motif of cranes, promotes longevity. The brilliant colors, strong ink outlines, gold-leaf background, and profusion of pictorial elements are typical of the decorative formula established by Kano Motonobu (1476–1559), founder of the Kano school of painting, while the boldness is reminiscent of his grandson, the prolific Kano Eitoku (1543–1590). The exaggerated dimensions of the pine and cedar trees, the attempt to create space for projecting branches in the crowded composition, and the depiction of brushwood hedges in high relief suggest that the work dates to the late sixteenth century. In their elegant grandeur, these screens reflect the lavish taste that prevailed in the mansions and temples of the capital during the period.

#7711. Cranes and Flowers of the Four Seasons

Birds and Flowers of the Four Seasons, Pair of six-panel folding screens; ink, color, gold, and gold leaf on paper, Japan

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