Scenes from the Eight Views of the Xiao and Xiang Rivers
Unkoku Tōeki (1591–1644)
Edo period (1615–1868)
Pair of six-panel screens; ink and gold on paper
Overall (each screen): 67 1/2 x 147 in. (171.5 x 373.4 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1917
Not on view
This pair of screens, invoking the Chinese landscape around the Xiao and Xiang Rivers and the traditional couplets associated with its representation, was painted by the second son of Unkoku Tōgan (1547–1618), heir to the artistic legacy and patrons of Sesshû Tōyō (1420–?1506) in western Japan. Regional schools like the Unkoku workshop were patronized by powerful local daimyo—in this instance, the Mōri in Suō and Hagi—who brought Kyoto-trained artists to their strongholds in the provinces to underscore their cultural and military authority. The Unkoku style was characterized by a strong, tensile ink line, a composition based on a balance of wash and large unpainted areas, and a shallow spatial representation.
Signature: Seals on painting read "Unkoku" and "Toeki"
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Japan," 1995.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Seasonal Pleasures in Japanese Art, Part II," May 1, 1996–September 8, 1996.
Yamaguchi Prefectural Museum of Art. "Unkoku Tōeki and Followers of Sesshū in the First Half of the 17th Century," December 18, 2001–January 27, 2002.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Tribute to a Dedicated Collector: Mary Griggs Burke," June 30, 2004–November 29, 2004.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Flowing Streams: Scenes from Japanese Arts and Life," December 21, 2006–June 3, 2007.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Poetry and Travel in Japanese Art," December 18, 2008–May 31, 2009.