Maker(s)
Artist: Master of I-nen Seal (1600-1630)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, mid 17th century
School
Rinpa
Medium
Ink, color and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W: 154 x 357.8 cm (60 5/8 x 140 7/8 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1962.31
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Screen (six-panel)

Keywords
Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, tree, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Label

At least eight varieties of trees have been identified in the screens F1962.30-31, reflecting a growing interest at that time among educated Japanese in natural history classification. Yet even with careful attention to botanical accuracy, the painter offers no suggestion of spatial relationship between the trees. Indeed, the real subject of the painting is jarring contrast: realism in form but not space, dramatic asymmetry, and bold color contrast.
 
The circular vermilion seals, reading "I'nen" and seen on the extreme left and right panels of this screen set, were used by the Kyoto painter Tawaraya Sotatsu (active circa 1600-1640) and by several generations of his followers. Sotatsu's follower, Sosetsu (active 1630-50) is a strong candidate as the user of these "I'nen" seals. He migrated from Kyoto to serve Lord Maeda, head of the family who ruled Kaga Province, north of Kyoto; these screens were likely commissioned for the Maeda family.

Published References
  • Zaigai Nihon no Shiho [Japanese Art: Selections from Western Collections]. 10 vols., Tokyo, 1979 - 1980. vol. 5: pl. 44.
  • Rinpa kaiga zenshu [Paintings of Rinpa]. 5 vols., Tokyo, 1977-1980. vol. 2: pls. 125, 151-2.
  • Keiko Kawamoto. Nihon byobue shusei. 18 vols., Tokyo, 1977-1982. vol. 6: p. 158, pl. 99.
  • Nihon bijutsu kaiga zenshu. 25 vols., Tokyo, 1977-1980. vol. 14: pl. 52.
  • Mayuyama Junkichi. Japanese Art in the West. Tokyo. pls. 234 a, b.
  • Bijutsu to kusabana. Tokyo. pl. 65-1.
  • Mary Ellen Hayward. The Influence of the Classical Oriental Tradition. vol. 14, no. 2 Chicago, Summer 1979. fig. 11.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Thomas Lawton, Harold P. Stern. The Freer Gallery of Art. 2 vols., Washington and Tokyo, 1971-1972. cat. 41, vol. 2: p. 165.
  • Christine M. Guth. Varied Trees: An I'nen Seal Screen in the Freer Gallery of Art. no. 39 New York and Honolulu, HI. p. 49.
  • Castile Rand. The Splendor of Rimpa., January/February 1981. p. 64.
  • Masterpieces of Chinese and Japanese Art: Freer Gallery of Art handbook. Washington, 1976. p. 120.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.

Related Objects