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Maize and Cockscombs

Gold folded tall screen with red flowers, green maize plants.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • Gold folded tall screen with red flowers, green maize plants.


mid 17th century


Artist unknown

About this artwork

During the Edo period, the prosperity and political unification of Japan under the ruling Tokugawa shoguns led to the emergence of a magnificent Japanese decorative style characterized by a love of bold patterns and bright colors. This new style was supported by the military class, a disenfranchised aristocracy, and a thriving class of merchants and entrepreneurs. The surviving half of an original pair, this splendid screen elegantly embodies both the techniques of ancient court painters and the curiosity and confidence so prevalent in the Edo period. Bursting with sensual fullness, the maize and cockscombs are rendered with the accuracy of a botanical drawing, a testimony to the era’s interest in natural science. The appearance of maize, a grain not native to Japan, indicates a willingness to assimilate new subject matter on the part of Edo artists and patrons.


Currently Off View


Arts of Asia


Tawaraya Sôtatsu


Maize and Cockscombs


Japan (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Six-panel screen; ink, color, and gold on paper


170.2 × 357 cm (67 × 140 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Kate S. Buckingham Endowment

Reference Number


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