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Birds and Flowers


late 1500s

attributed to Kano Mitsunobu 狩野光信

(Japanese, 1565–1608)
Image: 155.9 x 339.4 cm (61 3/8 x 133 5/8 in.); Overall: 168.5 x 352.2 cm (66 5/16 x 138 11/16 in.); Closed: 172.5 x 61 x 11.3 cm (67 15/16 x 24 x 4 7/16 in.); Panel: 168.5 x 58.7 cm (66 5/16 x 23 1/8 in.); with frame: 171.7 x 355.4 cm (67 5/8 x 139 15/16 in.)
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Location: not on view

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Did You Know?

As masters of the Kano academic painting style, both Kano Shōei and Kano Mitsunobu favored Chinese-inspired subject matter, such as birds and flowers.


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

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

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