Bunshichi Kobayashi (circa 1861-1923), Boston, San Francisco, Tokyo, and Yokohama, to 1906 
From 1906 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Bunshichi Kobayashi in 1906 
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 
 See Original Screen List, S.I. 123-124, L. 115, pg. 34, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.
 See note 1.
 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
Kobayashi Bunshichi (C.L. Freer source) ca. 1861-1923
The brilliant paintings on this pair of folding screens are regarded as masterpieces among only six surviving sets of screens by Sotatsu, a talented and innovative artist who headed a painting workshop known as Tawaraya. As a townsman, Sotatsu produced paintings such as fans for popular consumption. By the late 1620s, however, Sotatsu was painting for the imperial court, and his works survive in the collections of the Kyoto imperial palace. For his artistic merit, he was granted the honorary Buddhist ecclesiastical title Hokkyo (Bridge of the Law), which is included in his signature on these screens.
Matsushima (Pine Islands) is the name of a famous site (meisho) near Sendai, a city in Miyagi Prefecture in northeastern Japan. Its beauty inspired both poets and painters. In Sotatsu's screens the rock from which pine trees grow are rendered in brilliant mineral colors of green, blue, and brown, highlighted with gold. Waves in animated forms are delineated in alternating lines of ink and gold, producing a luminous effect. Clouds and embankments are rendered in particles of gold leaf accented with silver, which has darkened over time to a soft black tone.
Sotatsu's innovative composition creates a dynamic interplay among the land and cloud forms, the bending pines, and churning waves. His lifelong interest in pictorial composition left a lasting legacy. Later painters of the Rimpa school, such as Ogata Korin (1658-1716), repeated the Matsushima theme in their work. The Matsushima screens were probably painted in the early Kan'ei era (1624-44), a period of cultural efflorescence in Kyoto.
- Published References
- Bungei Shunju. 2012, vol. 11, pp. 2-3.
- Illustrated Chronology of Rimpa Art for Four Hundred Years. Japan. .
- The selected works of Japanese Art: The masterpieces of Edo period. vol. 13, Japan. .
- , no. 34, 2013. .
- Satoko Tamamushi. Tamaraya Sotasu and the Tradition of Gold and Silver Paintings in Japanese Art. Japan. .
- Yashushi Murashige. Motto shiritai Tawaraya Sotatsu: shogai to sakuhin. Ato biginazu korekushon Tokyo. .
- Yuko Ikeda. Rinpa no tanoshimi [Favorites of Rinpa]. Tokyo. .
- Nobuo Tsuji. Nihon kaiga meisaku 101-sen [101 Masterpieces of Japanese Art]. Tokyo. fig. 074.
- Sotatsu. no. 461 Tokyo. fig. 3.
- Doris Croissant. Sotatsu und der Sotatsu-Stil: Untersuchungen zu Repertoire, Ikonographie und Asthetik der Malerei des Tawaraya Sotatsu (um 1600-1640). Munchener ostasiatische Studien: Sonderreihe, Bd. 3 Wiesbaden. pl. 86-87.
- Kokuho daijiten. 5 vols., Tokyo, 1985-1986. vol. 1: p. 374.
- Kasetto Nihon no bi. 18 vols., , Shohan. Tokyo. vol. 15: pl. 49.
- Toru Shimbo. Tawaraya Sotatsu hitsu Matsushima zu byobu kaisetsu (Sotatsu's Matsushima Screens). Tokyo. .
- Zaigai Nihon no Shiho [Japanese Art: Selections from Western Collections]. 10 vols., Tokyo, 1979 - 1980. vol. 5: pl. 26.
- Mizuo Hiroshi. Edo Painting: Sotatsu and Korin. The Heibonsha survey of Japanese art, 1st ed. New York and Tokyo. pl. 6, 135.
- Jan Fontein, Rose Hempel. China, Korea, Japan. Propylaen Kunsgeschichte Berlin. pl. 45.
- Yashiro Yukio. Sotatsu Miscellany. no. 10 Osaka, June 1953. pls. 9-12.
- Yashiro Yukio. Screen painting of Matsushima by Sotatsu. no. 73 Tokyo, January 1938. pl. 3-4.
- Benjamin Rowland, Laurence Sickman, H. G. Henderson, Robert Treat Paine, Richard Ettinghausen, Eric Schroeder. The University Prints. Oriental Art Series O 4 vols. Newton, Massachusetts, 1938-1941. Section 3: Japanese Art, pl. 376.
- H. Batterson Boger. The Traditional Arts of Japan: A Complete Illustrated Guide. Garden City. pl. 4.
- Mayuyama Junkichi. Japanese Art in the West. Tokyo. pl. 233A-B.
- Zaigai hiho [(Japanese Paintings in Western Collections]. 3 vols., Tokyo. vol. 1, pt. I, pls. 47-48.
- Takeda Tsuneo. Kinsei shoki shoheiga no kenkyu [Studies in Japanese shoheiga of the 16th and 17th Centuries]. Showa 58 2 vols., Tokyo. vol. 2: pp. 36-37.
- Keiko Kawamoto. Nihon byobue shusei. 18 vols., Tokyo, 1977-1982. pls. 26-27.
- Dr. John Alexander Pope, Thomas Lawton, Harold P. Stern. The Freer Gallery of Art. 2 vols., Washington and Tokyo, 1971-1972. cat. 38-40, vol. 2: p. 165.
- Matsushita Takaaki. Some Paintings by Sotatsu and Artists of His School. no. 48 Tokyo, March 1955. pp. 2-3.
- Kobayashi Tadashi. unknown title. Tokyo, August - September 2004. p. 2.
- Matsushita Takaaki. The Screen Painting of Matsushima by Sotatsu and Other Works by Artists of his School. no. 48 Tokyo, March 1955. pp. 2-3.
- Yashiro Yukio. Sekai ni okeru Nihon bijutsu no ninshiki [Recognition of Japanese Art in the World]. no. 1 Tokyo, October 1963. p. 6.
- Yamane Yuzo, (London, 1959). Sotatsu. Nihon no meiga Tokyo. p. 6, 7, 9.
- Miyeko Murase. On the Subject of the Screen Painting 'Matsushima' by Sotatsu. Tokyo, March 1977. pp. 12-23.
- Freer Gallery of Art. The Freer Gallery of Art. Washington. p. 17.
- Carolyn Wheelwright. Tohaku's Black and Gold. vol. 16 Washington and Ann Arbor. p. 29.
- Johei Sasaki. Edo Kaiga I: Early Period (1615-1715). no. 209 Tokyo, October 1983. p. 29, fig. 33.
- W. Aubrey Cartwright. Guide to Art Museums in the United States: East Coast, Washington to Miami., 1st ed. New York. p. 39.
- Kobayashi Tadashi. Edo-no-Kaiga [A Kaleidoscope of Painting Styles: Essays on Edo Period Paintings]. Tokyo. pp. 40-41, fig. 22.
- Edo Paintings. Tokyo. pp. 45, 49.
- Pierre Kjellberg. Les Paravents Japonais, les Tableaux a Fond d'or les Plus Spectaculaires du Monde. no. 156 Paris, February 1965. p. 47.
- Herman Floris Eduard Visser. Aziatische Kunst in Amerika, I-II. vol. 16, no. 2/4 Amsterdam, February - April 1939. p. 50.
- Keiko Nakamachi. Koetsu, Sotatsu. Meiho Nihon no bijutsu, vol. 19 Tokyo. pp. 62-63, pls. 22-25.
- unknown title. vol. 60, no. 913, October 2008. p. 88.
- Yu Ogawa. "臥遊：中國山水畫的世界." Gayu: the World of Chinese Landscape Painitngs. p. 102.
- Hiromitsu Ogawa. Dream Journey: The World of Chinese Landscape Painting. Tokyo. p. 102.
- Tomita Kojiro. Waves by Koetsu, Sotatsu, and Korin. vol. 1. pp. 102-103, fig. 3.
- Ryou Furuta. Yawaraya Sotatsu. Tokyo. pp. 104-105, fig. 15.
- Shuko Nishimoto. Korin, Kenzan. Meiho Nihon No bijutsu, vol. 20 Tokyo. p. 115.
- Masterpieces of Chinese and Japanese Art: Freer Gallery of Art handbook. Washington, 1976. p. 119.
- Thomas Lawton, Linda Merrill. Freer: a legacy of art. Washington and New York, 1993. pp. 131, 144, 145, fig. 96.
- Yoshiaki Shimizu. An Individual Taste for Japanese Painting. vol. 118, no. 258 London, August 1983. pp. 136-149, fig. 12-13.
- Joan Stanley-Baker. Japanese Art. World of Art, 1st ed. London. pp. 148-149, fig. 108, 109.
- Akiyama Terukazu. Japanese Painting. Treasures of Asia Geneva. pp. 150-151.
- Ideals of Beauty: Asian and American Art in the Freer and Sackler Galleries. Thames and Hudson World of Art London and Washington, 2010. pp. 154-155.
- Denys Sutton. Cathay, Nirvana and Zen. vol. 84, no. 54 London, August 1966. p. 155.
- Chinami Nakjima. Iroiro-Zukan III: 2005-2009. p. 196.
- unknown title. Tokyo, December 2008. p. 228, cover.
- Yashiro Yukio. Toyo bijutsu ronko [Studies on Representative Works of Chinese and Japanese art in the United States and Europe]. 2 vols., Tokyo. p. 246, pl. 54-55.
- Penelope Mason, revised by Donald Dinwiddie. History of Japanese Art., 2nd Edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. p. 269, fig. 311.
- Hokusai and Japonisme. Exh. cat. Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. p. 289, p. 347, fig.2, fig. 2.
- Nobuo Tsuji. History of Art in Japan. Tokyo, Japan. p.318, fig. 11.
- Phaidon Editors. 30,000 Years of Art: The Story of Human Creativity Across Time & Space. New York. p. 412.
- The Freer Collection. vol. 3, no. 8 New York and Washington, June 1912. pp. 614-615.
- Larry Ball. 30,000 Years of Art: The Story of Human Creativity Across Time and Space. London and New York, 2007. p. 774.
- Collection Area(s)
- Japanese Art
- Web Resources
- Google Cultural Institute
- CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)
Usage Conditions Apply
Chrome users: right click on icon, select "save link as..."
Internet Explorer users: right click on icon, select "save target as..."
Mozilla Firefox users: right click on icon, select "save link as..."