Flowers of All Seasons

A work made of pair six-panel screens; ink, color, and gold on paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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

Date:

mid–17th century

Artist:

Artist Unknown
Japanese

About this artwork

この金箔地に、春・夏・秋の草花がリズミカルに配された一双の屏風は、1926年、シカゴ美術館に入った作品で、これは屏風作品の中で最も早いものである。

このような構図はしばしば「百花図」と称され、その内「伊年」印付きのものが、17世紀頃の制作の中に数多く存在する。この印は、俵屋宗達(活動期1602-1640頃)を継承し、京都や金沢で活躍した絵師たちによって使われた。このような新しい装飾的な構図は、当時の将軍や大名たちの間で植物への関心が高まったことに関係していよう。

右隻には、太い茎の立葵、薔薇、菊、萩、薄、そして左隻には、蜀黍(もろこし)、葉鶏頭、繊細な花をさかせている撫子、鶏頭、芥子、野アザミ、秋海棠が表わされている。左隻の第3扇の下端近くに見えるのは、茄子である。このような屏風の画家たちは、もはや古典的な和歌に詠まれる花卉にとどまらず、初めてさまざまな野菜をも含めたのである。

These screens, with their gold-leaf backgrounds covered with rhythmic arrays of the flowers of spring, summer, and autumn, were the very first ones to enter the Art Institute’s collection in 1926. Compositions such as this are known in Japanese as hyakkazu (multitude of flowers), and dozens remain from the seventeenth century that are impressed with the seal reading “I’nen,” which was used by the followers of Tawaraya Sotatsu (active 1602–c. 1640) in Kyoto and Kanazawa. This new type of decorative composition coincided with an explosion of interest in botany among the shogun and regional warlords that reached all levels of society in the Edo period (1615–1868).

The right screen features thick-stemmed hollyhocks, roses, chrysanthemums, bushclover, pampas grass, field horsetail shoots, dandelions, and diminutive violets. The left screen contains sorghum, amaranthus, delicate blossoming pinks, cockscombs, poppies, thistle, and begonias. Close to the bottom edge are eggplants. The artists who specialized in screens such as this did not limit themselves to the flowers and grasses mentioned in classical court poetry, but were the first to include varieties of vegetables in their compositions.

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Asian Art

Title

Flowers of All Seasons

Origin

Japan

Date

1625–1675

Medium

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

Dimensions

Ea. 136.5 x 312 cm

Credit Line

Gift of Emily Crane Chadbourne

Reference Number

1926.1045-1926.1046

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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