Flowers of the Four Seasons (one of a pair with F1997.31.2)

Maker(s)
Artist: Izuhara Makoku (1777-1860)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1825-1850
Medium
Ink and color on silk
Dimensions
H x W (image): 115 × 26.2 cm (45 5/16 × 10 5/16 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
Gift of Andreas Leisinger
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1997.31.1a-b
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Hanging scroll

Keywords
Edo period (1615 - 1868), flower, Japan, kakemono, season, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance research underway.
Label

Makoku, a Buddhist monk, was the least known member of a triumvirate of Nagoya-born painters; the other two were Yamamoto Baiitsu (1783-1856) and Nakabayashi Chikuto (1776-1853), who in the early nineteenth century advanced a painting style that melded Chinese Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasty styles with Japanese sensibilities. Both Baiitsu and Chikuto achieved considerable prominence in the highly competitive cultural milieu of Kyoto. Makoku, while fully engaged in a range of cultural activities, seems to have a more reserved, less commercially directed life than his colleagues.

Makoku proposes a naturalistic but highly unlikely arrangement of plants that represent the four seasons. A centuries-old painting practice for this kind of arrangement called for placement of representative flowers sequentially in clearly demarcated compositional space. Makoku follows an Edo-period (1615-1868) trend of blending flowers and grasses in a naturalistic rather than schematic mode and, further, uses the opportunity to depict less well-known flowers.

See also F1997.31.2

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