Birds and Flowers


late 1500s

Kano Mitsunobu 狩野光信

(Japanese, 1565–1608)

and Kano Shōei 狩野松栄

(Japanese, 1519–1592)
Image: 155.5 x 340 cm (61 1/4 x 133 7/8 in.)
Location: not on view
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Did You Know?

The inscriptions on these screens are not signatures of the artist, but instead an attribution to the painter Kano Eitoku (1543–1590) by his youngest brother, Kano Naganobu (1577–1654).


The landscape depicted in this pair of screens follows a seasonal progression from right to left, starting with the blossoming plum of early spring and ending with late autumn peonies. A variety of smaller birds are positioned throughout the scene, and a trio of swimming ducks is bracketed by early summer irises and early autumn bellflowers at the center. While some raptors (birds of prey) terrorize a pheasant and an egret (a waterfowl) to the right, a peacock and peahen converse to the left. Hawks are associated with military prowess, while the peafowl suggest cultural prestige.
Birds and Flowers

Birds and Flowers

late 1500s

Kano Mitsunobu, Kano Shōei

(Japanese, 1565–1608), (Japanese, 1519–1592)
Japan, Momoyama period (1573–1615)

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