Blue Phoenix

A work made of pair of six-panel screens; ink, color, and gold on silk.

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  • A work made of pair of six-panel screens; ink, color, and gold on silk.

Date:

1921

Artist:

Omura Koyo
Japanese, 1891-1983

About this artwork

大村広陽の作品 「青鸞」は、グレ-トアルゴスと呼ばれる鳥の棲む緑の熱帯林の詳細な描写で、見る人を圧倒する。右隻には、一つがいの鳥が穏やかに留っている。一方、左隻には、広く羽を広げた雄鳥が、活発に求愛のダンスを踊っている。画面全体には、鮮やかな赤とオレンジ色のロイヤルポインセチアの花が描かれている。題材は、作者が、当時オランダ領だったインドネシアに滞在し、写生してきたものである。力強い構成で大画面をうめつくし、絹地の背面に貼られた金箔の輝きで 緑と赤色の葉や花が 際立っている。

この屏風は、間違いなくこの画家の最高傑作であるが、今回の展示以前には、ただ一度だけ1921年の東京における第3回帝展で展示されただけである。

20世紀の屏風に異例な外国風景が含まれていることは、当時の日本文化人の一部が、外国に対して強く関心や好奇心を高めていたことを反映している。

Omura Koyo’s Blue Phoenix overwhelms the viewer with a close-up scene of a lush tropical forest inhabited by exotic birds known as the Great Argus. On the right, a pair of birds perch calmly. By contrast, on the left, the active male bird fans out its patterned feathers across the panels in a mating dance. Overall, the work displays the bright red and orange blossoms of the Royal Poinciana flower. The subject matter comes from sketches the artist made during a trip to the Dutch East Indies (present-day Indonesia). The dynamic composition fills each corner of the oversized screens, and the green and red colors of the foliage are set off by the silk backed with gold foil, casting a subtle glow over the entire scene.

The screens are without a doubt the masterpiece of the artist’s career, but remarkably they have been exhibited only once prior to the current exhibition: at the Third Teiten National Art Exhibition in Tokyo in 1921.

The inclusion of unconventional, foreign scenes on 20th-century screens reflects an increasing interest on the part of Japanese intellectuals in an outward-looking view and a focused curiosity about the rest of the world.

Currently Off View

Asian Art

Artist

Omura Koyo

Title

Blue Phoenix

Origin

Japan

Date

1916–1926

Medium

Pair of six-panel screens; ink, color, and gold on silk

Dimensions

Each 190 x 376 cm (74 7/8 x 148 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with Funds Provided by the Weston Foundation; Alsdorf Acquisition Fund;Russell Tyson Endowment Fund; President's Exhibition and Acquisition FundFoundation

Reference Number

2007.359.1-2

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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