Persimmon Tree

Artist: Nakamura Hōchū 中村芳中 (fl. 1790-1813)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, late 18th-early 19th century
Ink and color on paper
H x W x D (overall): 132.9 x 236.4 x 1.9 cm (52 5/16 x 93 1/16 x 3/4 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Harold P. Stern Memorial Fund
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Screen (three-panel)

Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, tree, WWII-era provenance
Provenance research underway.

At precisely the same moment that Sakai Hoitsu and his followers were resurrecting the so-called Rimpa style in Edo (Tokyo), Nakamura Hochu was spearheading a similar revival in the Kyoto-Osaka area. Hochu published his own catalogue on Ogata Korin's paintings in 1802, more than a decade before Hoitsu's research was printed.

Ripe persimmons on a branch is an autumnal scene rare in Hochu's repertoire, as is the single-panel, standing screen format. The soft wash, puddled pigments and boldly naive brush gestures that define the image are in marked contrast to the precision and polish of Rimpa-style paintings produced in Edo.

Published References
  • Susan Orpett Long. Final Days: Japanese Culture and Choice at the End of Life. Honolulu. cover.
  • The Poetry of Zen. Shambhala Ligrary Boston. cover image.
  • , no. 39 Lexington, Massachusetts, 2018. p. 129.
  • Thomas Lawton, Thomas W. Lentz. Beyond the Legacy: Anniversary Acquisitions for the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. vol. 1 Washington, 1998. pp. 324-325.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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