Red and White Poppies, Traditionally attributed to Tosa Mitsumochi (active 1525–ca. 1559), Six-panel folding screen; ink, color, and gold leaf on paper , Japan

伝土佐光茂筆 芥子図屏風
Red and White Poppies

Artist:
Traditionally attributed to Tosa Mitsumochi (active 1525–ca. 1559)
Period:
Momoyama (1573–1615)– Edo (1615–1868) period
Date:
early 17th century
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Six-panel folding screen; ink, color, and gold leaf on paper
Dimensions:
65 3/4 x 147 1/2 in. (167.0 x 374.7 cm)
Classification:
Screens
Credit Line:
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Gift of Mrs. Dunbar W. Bostwick, John C. Wilmerding, J. Watson Webb Jr., Harry H. Webb, and Samuel B. Webb, 1962
Accession Number:
62.36.1
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 225
The summer motif of red and white poppies arrayed across the gold-leaf surface of the screen is a decorative formula that developed during the seventeenth century and was taken up by various schools throughout the Edo period. An unusual feature of this painting is the pattern of family crests that decorates the lattice fence.

In the lower right corner an inscription by Ogata Kōrin (1658–1716) attributes the work to the court painter Tosa Mitsumochi, who died a century before the celebrated Rinpa artist was born. The attribution, however, is speculative; based on its style, the work probably dates to the early seventeenth century. Nevertheless, the screen reveals the kind of court paintings that Kōrin, famous for formalized depictions of natural themes, had direct access to and would have studied.
Mrs. Dunbar W. Bostwick, John C. Wilmerding, J. Watson Webb Jr., Harry H. Webb , and Samuel Webb (until 1962; donated to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Resonant Image: Tradition in Japanese Art (Part Two)," April 27, 1998–September 27, 1998.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Birds, Flowers, and Buddhist Paradise Imagery in Japanese Art," February 14, 2004–June 13, 2004.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Designing Nature: The Rinpa Aesthetic in Japanese Art," May 26, 2012–January 13, 2013.