Rinpa Screens

Clusters of red maple leaves and wisps of reeds in a flowing, dark blue stream of water, indicated by painterly gold highlights of the currents.
  • Dates

    February 25, 2023–February 4, 2024

  • Location

    Freer Gallery of Art | Gallery 5

  • Collection Area

    Japanese Art

Whether displayed in private households or in temples, screens were an integral part of traditional Japanese interiors. Artists could experiment with painting techniques and motifs on these large, decorative surfaces. The three-dimensional, folded format allowed them to play with perception and to cleverly trick the viewer’s eye so that scenes of undulating dragons, stormy seas, and elegant foliage came to life and animated a room.

Explore a selection of screens painted in the Rinpa style, a movement known for stylized forms in bright colors that spanned the seventeenth to the nineteenth century. A complementary display of ceramics demonstrates the aesthetic exchange facilitated by trade between Japan and China and interrogates what makes a work of art Japanese.

Please note: This exhibition will be temporarily closed to the public from August 14–18, 2023.

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