Summer and autumn flowers

Historical period(s)
Edo period, 17th century
Color over gold on paper
H x W (overall): 181 x 377.9 cm (71 1/4 x 148 3/4 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Screen (six-panel)

autumn, Edo period (1615 - 1868), flower, Japan, plant, summer

To 1896
Bunkio Matsuki (1867-1940), Boston, to 1896 [1]

From 1896 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Bunkio Matsuki in 1896 [2]

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


[1] Undated folder sheet note. See Original Screen List, S.I. 61, pg. 1, 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) and Custodian(s)

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


Grains and vegetables--including corn, eggplant, and taro--are unusual additions to this array of seasonal flowers depicted in an imaginary gardenlike setting. From right to left, the blooming or fruiting plants represent a seasonal progression from early spring (bog rhubarb and kerria) to late summer, when ripe wheat and millet mingle with autumn-blooming flowers such as bush clover and Chinese bellflowers. The convention of depicting seasonal plants arranged against a gold ground on folding screens and sliding paper-panelled doors (fusuma) originated in the Kyoto workshop of Tawaraya Sotatsu (active circa 1600-1640) and became a successful mainstay of that studio's repetoire. One hallmark of the Sotatsu style is the use of overlapping wet pigments that blur at the edges, a technique known as tarashikomi.

Published References
  • Gaston Migeon. Chefs-d'œuvre d'art japonais. Paris. pl. 9, no. 42.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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