In this vivid display of rich blue and green against a gold-leaf background, Kiitsu concentrated on the proliferation of the blossoms and leaves by omitting any indication of space or context. The exuberant outburst is carefully orchestrated into two movements: the blossoms on the right rise up from the ground, while those on the left cascade down as if supported by an unseen trellis.
Trained as a textile dyer, Kiitsu studied painting under Sakai Hōitsu (1761–1828), with whom he prepared an illustrated compendium of classic Rinpa art, One Hundred Paintings by Kōrin (Kōrin hyakuzu). Evident in these screens, especially in the brilliant decorative effects of thick mineral pigments on gold leaf, is the influence of both textile design and the Rinpa school.
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Artist:Suzuki Kiitsu (Japanese, 1796–1858)
Period:Edo period (1615–1868)
Date:early 19th century
Medium:Pair of six-panel folding screens; ink, color, and gold leaf on paper
Dimensions:Image (each screen): 70 3/16 x 12 ft. 5 1/2 in. (178.3 x 379.7 cm)
Credit Line:Seymour Fund, 1954
Accession Number:54.69.1, .2
Signature: Signed left, three characters in black, one in red encircled in red (.1) Signed right, three characters in black, one in red encircled in red. (.2)
[ Yamanaka & Co. Japanese, NY, until 1954; sold to MMA].
New York. Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution. "Gardens of Delight," June 9, 1981–August 23, 1981.
Nagoya City Museum. "Rimpa, Succession of Beauty: Sotatsu, Korin, Hoitsu, Kiitsu," April 23, 1994–May 22, 1994.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Kodai-ji Lacquer," 1995.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Japan," August 19, 2000–February 5, 2001.
National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. "Rimpa," August 21, 2004–October 3, 2004.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces from the Permanent Collection," July 2–November 29, 2005.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Sensitivity to the Seasons: Autumn and Winter," June 22–September 10, 2006.
Williamstown. The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. "Through the Seasons: Japanese Art in Nature," June 1, 2008–October 13, 2008.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Sensitivity to the Seasons: Summer and Autumn in Japanese Art," June 24–October 23, 2011.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Designing Nature: The Rinpa Aesthetic in Japanese Art," May 26, 2012–January 13, 2013.
New York. Japan Society Gallery. "Silver Winds: the Art of Sakai Hoitsu (1761–1828) and His Circle," September 28, 2012–January 6, 2013.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Discovering Japanese Art: American Collectors and the Met," February 14 - September 27, 2015.
Tokyo. Suntory Museum. "Suzuki Kiitsu: Standard-bearer of the Edo Rimpa School," September 10, 2016–October 30, 2016.
Tokyo Kokuritsu Bunkazai Kenkyūjo 東京国立文化財研究所, ed. Nyūyōku Metoroporitan Bijutsukan, kaiga, chōkoku ニューヨークメトロポリタン美術館，絵画・彫刻 (Painting and sculpture of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) Kaigai shozai Nihon bijutsuhin chōsa hōkoku 海外所在日本美術品調查報告 (Catalogue of Japanese art in foreign collections) 1. Tokyo: Kobunkazai Kagaku Kenkyūkai, 1991, p. 101, cat. nos. 305.1-2.
Murase, Miyeko. Through the Seasons: Japanese Art in Nature. Exh. cat. Williamstown, Mass.: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 2009, pp. 73–74, pl. 4.
Carpenter, John T. Designing Nature: The Rinpa Aesthetic in Japanese Art. Exh. cat. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012, pp. 190–91, cat. no. 91.
McKelway, Matthew P. Silver Wind: The Arts of Sakai Hōitsu (1761–1828). Exh. cat. New York: Japan Society, 2012, pp. 171–175, cat. no. 56.
Okano Tomoko 岡野智子. Suzuki Kitsu: Edo rinpa no kishu 鈴木其一 : 江戶琳派の旗手 (Suzuki Kiitsu: standard-bearer of the Edo rimpa school). Exh. cat. [Tokyo]: Yomiuri Shinbunsha, , cat. no. 67.
Carpenter, John T. The Poetry of Nature: Edo Paintings from the Fishbein-Bender Collection. Exh. cat. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2018, pp. 56–57, fig. 20.
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