unsigned; from the Saga Palace, Kyoto; trees at left; birds in sky

Fall [left from the set Rice Farming in the Four Seasons], 1620s

Not on Viewexpand_more

These sliding screens originally formed the four walls of a small reception chamber in Daikakuji, a temple in northwest Kyoto that alternately served as the palace for Japan's emperor. Representing the various activities associated with rice cultivation, the screens form a continuous agricultural panorama from wall to wall. Some of these chores include plowing, transplanting the rice, irrigating, threshing and grinding.

Typical of paintings by artists of the Kano school, the theme derives from China and is didactic in nature. Agriculture, according to Chinese Confucian teachings, is the basis of a well-ordered society. Accordingly, when Japanese rulers adopted Confucianism as their ruling ideology, they also commissioned paintings which reflected social stability, morality and government values.
Although unsigned, it is likely that these paintings are by Kano Sanraku who was commissioned to decorate the temple where these screens once existed. As head of the Kano school in the early 17th century, Sanraku evolved a style characterized by greater naturalism and detail than previous Kano artists. In addition to these characteristics, these screens exhibit a clear compositional arrangement, crisp brushwork, and heavily outlined rock formations--all hallmarks of the Kano style.

Fall [left from the set Rice Farming in the Four Seasons]
Artist Life
1559 - 1635
Accession Number
Take no ma, Shōshinden, Daikakuji, Kyoto until 1755, then Ōoka Shunboku; Joseph U. Seo (until 1981)
Catalogue Raisonne
Masterpieces from the Japanese painting collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Art ミネアポリス美術館 日本絵画の名品 Cat.9
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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unsigned; from the Saga Palace, Kyoto; trees at left; birds in sky