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Pair of six-panel screens; ink, color, and gold on gilded paper
Overall: 173.1 x 374.4 cm (68 1/8 x 147 3/8 in.); Overall: 175.9 x 377.2 cm (69 1/4 x 148 1/2 in.)
Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1986.2
Members of the Tosa studio of painters once served as heads of the imperial painting bureau.
Phoenixes are fantastical birds said to inhabit paulownia trees and eat bamboo, and to celebrate virtuous rulers. Peafowl are birds that amuse themselves in the lake of the Buddha Amida’s Pure Land, a paradise where many once hoped to find themselves after death. Both birds appeared on Japanese textiles or paintings in the 1500s and 1600s, used in official ceremonies centered around emperors.
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