Attributed to Kitagawa Sōsetsu

Not on view

This work is traditionally attributed to Kitagawa Sōsetsu, one of the top pupils of Tawaraya Sōtatsu, who is recognized as the founder of Rinpa, a school of painting famous for stylized and often colorful depictions of natural forms. But exactly who created this composition is hard to pin down since a number of Tawaraya Sōtatsu’s pupils appear to have used “I’nen” seals, similar to the one found on this painting. The stock-in-trade of the artists who used the “I’nen” seal at this time were screens, scrolls, and fans lavishly painted with trees, plants, or flowers, as seen here. As with all Rinpa vegetal motifs, there is a balance between stylization and naturalism. The plants are identifiable but reflect a decorative intent, for they seem completely detached from any real landscape.

Poppies, Attributed to Kitagawa Sōsetsu (active 1639–50), Hanging scroll; color and gold on paper, Japan

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