Studio of Tawaraya Sōtatsu (Japanese, died ca. 1640)
Edo period (1615–1868)
mid- to late 17th century
Pair of six-panel folding screens; ink, color, silver, and gold flecks on paper
Overall (each screen): 59 7/16 in. x 11 ft. 10 3/8 in. (151 x 361.6 cm)
The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975
Not on view
A large half-moon, once silver but now darkly oxidized, shines over a field of delicate autumn grasses. Tiny grains of gold are scattered throughout, and are especially dense around the moon. Since the Heian period (794–1185), the moon over an autumn field has been a favorite subject in Japan, with its stirring evocation of serenity, clarity, and nostalgia. Rinpa artists and members of the more traditional schools, such as Kano and Tosa, favored this subject during the first half of the seventeenth century.
Here, the moon floating over the field creates a simple pattern. The straight lines of tall and flowering grasses on the left screen are arranged in two horizontal rows above and below. The signature on both screens reads “Sōtatsu Hokkyō” (Sotatsu holding the title of Bridge of the Law), and the seals read “Taiseiken.” Both signature and seal are thought to have been used by the master and his studio.
Signature: Hokkyō Sōtatsu; seal: Hokkyō Sōtatsu
[ Harry G. C. Packard , Tokyo, until 1975; donated and sold to MMA].
Nagoya City Museum. "Rimpa, Succession of Beauty: Sotatsu, Korin, Hoitsu, Kiitsu," April 23, 1994–May 22, 1994.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Japan," August 19, 2000–February 5, 2001.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Graceful Gestures: A Decade of Collecting Japanese Art," September 29, 2001–March 10, 2002.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Japanese Mandalas: Emanations and Avatars," June 18, 2009–November 30, 2009.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Beautiful Country: Yamato-e in Japanese Art," November 20, 2010–June 5, 2011.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Sensitivity to the Seasons: Summer and Autumn in Japanese Art," June 24, 2011–October 23, 2011.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Designing Nature: The Rinpa Aesthetic in Japanese Art," May 26, 2012–January 13, 2013.
Artist: Studio of Tawaraya Sōtatsu (Japanese, died ca. 1640)Date: first half of the 17th centuryMedium: Pair of six-panel folding screens; ink and color on paperAccession: 55.94.3, .4On view in:Not on view