This painting and Landscape (2015.590) belong to a group of eight that were likely mounted as a pair of four-panel folding screens representing the Eight Views of the Xiao and Xiang Rivers. The screen was the property of the Date family, who once ruled Sendai in northern Honshu, the main Japanese island. The paintings were separated after the Date family sold them. These two represent these themes: sunset glow over a fishing village and returning sails off a distant shore, and are in the style of Chinese painter Li Tang (1050â1130).
Some scholars believe they are the work of Sesshu Toyo (1420â1506), one of the most famous Japanese painters, or by one of his disciples. Sesshu traveled to Ming dynasty China on a ship sent by the powerful Ouchi family of Yamaguchi at the southern tip of Honshu. This gave him the distinction of being the only Japanese painter of the Muromachi period to have experienced Ming China firsthand.