Landscapes of the Four Seasons

Landscapes: the seasons. Signature and seal. Silk makimono.

View right to left

Artist: Tosa Mitsuoki (1617-1691)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 17th century
Color on silk
H x W (overall): 656.5 x 28.3 cm (258 7/16 x 11 1/8 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, makimono

To 1904
Michael Tomkinson (1841-1921), Kidderminster, England, to 1904 [1]

From 1904 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Michael Tomkinson in 1904 [2]

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


[1] See Original Makimono Reserved List, R. 444, 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)

Michael Tomkinson (C.L. Freer source) 1841-1921
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


Landscapes: the seasons. Signature and seal. Silk makimono.


Artist's seal: Mitsuoki (read right to left) 光起


Painters of the Tosa school, which had enjoyed the patronage of the imperial court, received renewed attention after Tosa Mitsuoki moved in 1634 from Sakai to Kyoto. In 1654, he became head of the Edokoro, the official Bureau of Painting. Into the conservative style and classical subject repertoire of seasonal landscapes and literary themes that were a specialty of Tosa painters, he introduced elements of brushwork and delineation from the Kano school, which had also assimilated significant influence from Chinese academic painting of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). Some elements of the simplified designs and innovative compositions characteristic of the emergent Rimpa school of Kyoto can also be seen in his work. In this handscroll depicting the four seasons the sequence begins with spring, reading from right to left. Mitsuoki's lyrical approach to natural subjects can be appreciated fully in these landscapes.

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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