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Rimpa souka-zu Six-panel folding screen paper, natural pigment and ink, mounted on gold ground. Grass and flower painting, square seal mark of Inen and round seal mark of Sousetsu in each painting. Sosetsu was one of the best pupils of Tawaraya Sotatsu (early 17th century), and may have taken over the workshop after the master passed away. His favoured subjects were flowers and plants.

W 657mm H 286mm

Ref: WEB833 (4106)

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Eight-panel folding screen paper, ink, watercolours, and gold. Signed; Hoitsu-Hitsu and red seal mark. Seven cranes in search of food are joined by two more. Four birds have raised their heads and watch the landing companions with interest. The one whose back is turned on them has also turned its head to look round. Cranes are known for forming couples which subsequently incubate the eggs and guard the younglings together, but mating is undertaken in large groups. They also gather into large flocks to fly to distant areas in picturesque V formations. In this excellent example of a Rimpa school painting, the artist strikes a harmonious balance between realism and decorative quality. He shows the cranes in motion, moving with tremendous grace. At the same time, the gold sprinkled on the background into shapes resembling small clouds makes the scene look unreal, taking the birds into an ideal space, undistracted - admires their beauty and picturesque dance. The seven cranes on the ground are captured in different poses but their wings resting on their side endow them with a static quality. And then the spread wings, bent legs and necks of the two birds flying in from the left add dynamism to the composition. As is the case with numerous Japanese works of art, harmony is attained here despite the asymmetry. The signature points to Hoitsu (1761-1828), a Rimpa master who skilfully combined various stylistic elements. Before he chose the Rimpa school, he had apprenticed with a number of workshops of the Kano and Maruyama schools, and also with Utagawa Toyoharu, an ukiyo-e artist, and So Shiseki of the Nanga school. His work made the Rimpa school's style more vivid in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, attracting many new students. They soon joined the movement aiming to revive traditional Japanese art.

W 5520mm H 1790mm

Ref: WEB836 (3855)

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Six panel folding screen paper, ink, and watercolours Kacho-ga - birds and flowers. - popular subject in both Japan and China. Here sparrow, wagtails and wild quails are depicted in a misty gold landscape, among bamboo, chrysanthemums, morning glory, and other flowers and plants. The mixture of flora from different seasons is not unusual, and it reflects the transient passage of time. This early screen is a good example of the use of square hold leaf in the background. In later screens, the squares grow larger and are more regular. When depicting the hazy clouds, the artist used sunago (sprinkled gold) to obtain a dreamy and misty effect. Most popular forms of byobu are two-and six-fold screen, the latter more often that not produced in pairs. They were referred to as isso, one pair, treated as an identity. This screen probably had another one to match to its right, where the composition would continue with the following seasons. Only a large castle interior would be able to accommodate paintings of this size, each usually approximately 3.5 m long. From the early 20th century onwards, two-fold screens increased in popularity as the size of living quarters in modern day Japan decreased.

W 3780mm H 960mm

Ref: WEB839 (3693)

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Unkoku to-eki school Six-panel folding screen paper, ink, watercolours, and gold leaf. This fabulous screen shows the best of the Unkoku school. The anonymous artist must have been well versed in Chinese ink painting with its subdued palette and delicate outlines. This is especially well visible in the parts of the stream and mountains emerging from clouds in the far distance. All this was juxtaposed with a local splash of colours and the Japanese love of gold. Worthy of note is the realism of the plants and birds contrasted with large areas of the painting covered with abstract gold clouds. The irregular placement of the gold foil squares is indicative of the age of the screen. The distant mountains are adorned with autumnal foliage, whereas camellias, bamboo and snow-clad willow branches evoke winter. It seems like this screen must have had another one to match, depicting spring and summer, thus making a pair. The changing season are a great way to underline the transience of nature and life. This idea is completed by the birds depicted here, all bearing deep symbolic meaning and complementing the iconographical program of the screen. Perched on the willow tree stump is a kingfisher. These birds breed in winter and are symbol of endurance, but also peace and prosperity. In Japanese art , the heron is one of the symbol of Buddihist purity. Furthermore, because of its habit of standing absolutely still with closed eyes, the heron is an example of meditation for Buddhist adepts. This particular painting also shows how to 'read' a Japanese screen. Typically the composition has three main faces points: the sides and the middle joining (if we are dealing with a pair). The side areas are painted as in close-up, the middle as from a far distance or a high vantage point. We continue reading from right to left according to the Asian custom of writing. Signatures, if any, are placed on the outside panels. This scheme is often used in seasonal landscapes like this one. * Provenance, The Manno art museum in Japan.

W 3720mm H 1700mm

Ref: WEB101 (2938)

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Japanese folded four panels screen embroidered with cherry blossom tree and birds. Fitted in original box

W 1940mm H 1130mm

Ref: WEB955 (5209)

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6-panel screen. Geese on gold background Signed: Shimojo

W 2600mm H 1730mm

Ref: WEB459

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6-panel screen, painted with Sumi on silk and gold paper of Mt.Fuji.Signed Shou-un.(3993)

W 3780mm H 1710mm

Ref: WEB379

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One of a pair of a 6-panel screen depicting an old pine tree on a gold background.

W 2640mm H 1120mm

Ref: WEB382

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One of a pair of 6-panel screen,with flora and fauna scenes.

W 3000mm H 1230mm

Ref: WEB58 (1622)

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Large six fold screen of blossoming peony riverscape signed Kei-i Hitsu

W 2700mm H 1150mm

Ref: WEB59 (3328)


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