Boats upon Waves

Studio of Tawaraya Sōtatsu Japanese

Not on view

This work relates closely to a pair of screens by the celebrated early seventeenth-century Kyoto painter Sōtatsu depicting Matsushima, a scenic locale near Sendai in northern Japan named after its tiny islands dotted with pines. The present screen echoes Sōtatsu’s earlier composition with its gold-filled cloud formations and its rocks in vibrant shades of brown, blue, and green. However, growing from the rocks are maple trees with autumnal leaves, not pines, and newly introduced are two empty boats adrift on gently rolling waves. These details generate a somber, mysterious atmosphere.

Boats upon Waves, Studio of Tawaraya Sōtatsu (Japanese, ca. 1570–ca. 1640), Six-panel folding screen; ink, color, and gold on paper, Japan

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