Studio of Tawaraya Sōtatsu (Japanese, died ca. 1640)
Edo period (1615–1868)
mid- to late 17th century
Pair of six-panel folding screens; ink, color, silver, and gold flecks on paper
Overall (each screen): 59 7/16 in. x 11 ft. 10 3/8 in. (151 x 361.6 cm)
The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975
Not on view
A large half-moon, once silver but now darkly oxidized, shines over a field of delicate autumn grasses. Tiny grains of gold are scattered throughout, and are especially dense around the moon. Since the Heian period (794–1185), the moon over an autumn field has been a favorite subject in Japan, with its stirring evocation of serenity, clarity, and nostalgia. Rinpa artists and members of the more traditional schools, such as Kano and Tosa, favored this subject during the first half of the seventeenth century.
Here, the moon floating over the field creates a simple pattern. The straight lines of tall and flowering grasses on the left screen are arranged in two horizontal rows above and below. The signature on both screens reads “Sōtatsu Hokkyō” (Sotatsu holding the title of Bridge of the Law), and the seals read “Taiseiken.” Both signature and seal are thought to have been used by the master and his studio.
Artist: Studio of Tawaraya Sōtatsu (Japanese, died ca. 1640)Date: first half of the 17th centuryMedium: Pair of six-panel folding screens; ink and color on paperAccession: 55.94.3, .4On view in:Not on view