Fans and clouds over rocks and water

citation

Maker(s)
Calligrapher: Hon'ami Kōetsu 本阿弥光悦 (1558-1637)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, early 17th century
Medium
Ink, color, gold, and silver on paper
Dimensions
H x W (each): 171.2 x 382.2 cm (67 3/8 x 150 1/2 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
F1903.120-121
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Screens (six-panel)

Keywords
Edo period (1615 - 1868), fan, Japan, water
Provenance

To 1903
Bunkio Matsuki (1867-1940), Boston, to 1903 [1]

From 1903 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Bunkio Matsuki in 1903 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]

Notes:

[1] Undated folder sheet note. See Original Screen List, S.I. 57, pg. 19, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Bunkio Matsuki (C.L. Freer source) 1867-1940

Label

Fans decorated with painting and calligraphy are mounted on this painted screen to create the illusion that they are scattered across a silver river. The silver has darkened over time to a nearly black tone. Screens of this type were inspired by the story of a prince and his retinue crossing a bridge in Kyoto. When the prince tossed his fan into the river, the sight was so beautiful that his companions followed suit, tossing their fans and remarking at their beauty as they fluttered toward the water.

Many screens mounted with painted fans were produced by the Tawaraya atelier headed by the painter Sotatsu. The paintings on the fans and on these screens reflect the distinctive compositions and style associated with Sotatsu and his workshop. For example, the shape, vivid colors, and soft delineation of the rock forms are comparable to the islands in Sotatsu's Waves at Matsushima screens. Eleven of the fans are inscribe with poems in the elegant calligraphic style of Koetsu, whose large, square seal also appears on some of the fans. A master calligrapher and artistic leader, Koetsu often collaborated with Sotatsu on projects combining painting and calligraphy.

Published References
  • Yoshiaki Shimizu. An Individual Taste for Japanese Painting. vol. 118, no. 258 London, August 1983. pp. 136-149, fig. 8.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum