Flowers and Grasses

Flowers and Grasses



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Kitagawa Sōsetsu 喜多川相説

(Japanese, active 1639-50)

One of a pair of six-panel folding screens; ink and color on paper

Image: 153.7 x 329.2 cm (60 1/2 x 129 5/8 in.); Including mounting: 170.2 x 348.4 cm (67 x 137 3/16 in.)

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1968.193.1



Kitagawa Sōsetsu painted for the Maeda family, powerful rulers of what is present-day Ishikawa Prefecture on the central northern coast of Honshū, Japan’s main island. Screens served as room dividers and backdrops in Maeda grand residences. This composition is considered one of the artist’s masterpieces. Kitagawa Sōsetsu is thought to have been a student of Tawaraya Sōsetsu, who was in turn the student of Tawaraya Sōtatsu, the Kyoto-based master painter regarded as the creator of the style that came to be known as Rinpa. By selecting a painter of this lineage, the Maeda family consciously connected their aesthetics to those of the imperial capital as a means of proclaiming their elevated status.

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