Plum Blossoms, c. 1818-1829

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Sixty poems that celebrate the coming of spring are accompanied by an illustration of a blooming plum tree. A thatched farm house is partially obscured by the profusion of red flowers. The low mountain range in the background also contributes to the pastoral atmosphere. One of the poets who contributed a verse was also the designer of the print. It was not uncommon that designers of surimono were also members of poetry societies that commissioned the prints. This rather simple design is accentuated by a sophisticated technique called kiri-haku (cut foil). Tiny pieces of cut silver leaf were applied over the tree. These small shiny pieces (although darkened by oxidation today) may have been intended to represent the glittering sunlight of spring.

Plum Blossoms
Accession Number
Imao Keinen 今尾景年; Charles H. Mitchell (1963-1977)
Curator Approved

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