Solitary Plum Tree with Kakitsubata

Six-panel screen

Rinpa school artist

Edo period(1603-1868), 19th century

Ink and mineral colours on gold leaf

H 168.5 cm x W373.4 cm

 

This painting is characterized by the flat, decorative style typical of the Rinpa school. Most Rinpa artists followed in the footsteps of the great masters such as Tawaraya Sōtatsu( ca1600-1640), Ogata Kōrin (1658-1716) and Sakai Hōitsu(1761-1828), and this work certainly exemplifies the tradition.  They express their inborn sensibilities in a free use of vivid colours and bold decorative pattern. Rinpa masters’ works share at least one important feature: the striking beauty of abstract pattern and design. 

 

Three key flowers in this works of art ; Plum, Water Iris and wild Lily

The plum is a symbol of spring, a tree which resists the cold and begins to blossom at the end of winter and was initially the most frequently mentioned flower in Japanese poetry, celebrated for its sweet perfume and delicate blossoms.  

The vivid blue and white iris is called  "Kakitsubata", grows in the shallow water, marshy land, a symbol of May, the famous poem of Kakitsubata by Ariwara no Narishira in the Tale of Ise (10th century), reciting his feeling of solitude and regret.

KArakoromo 

KItsutsu narenishi

TSUma shi areba

HArubaru kinuru

TAbi wo shi zo omou

"I left my wife in Kyoto and have come a long way in search of a better place.

As kimono becomes comfortable to my body, my wife had become so familiar to me. 

feeling of solitude."

 

 

This screen illustrate the transition of the time,  transition of the seasons in one screen,  - the world as a fleeting moment.  The seasons from the right to left, as the water flows, the time flows.  

 

The screen is carefully reserved and immaculate condition.