Sōtatsu: Making Waves

Summer and Autumn Flowers

Summer and Autumn FlowersThis is one of a large number of grass-and-flower paintings bearing the I’nen seal. The genre incorporates a range of styles from relatively realistic to highly idealized; the Freer screen is decidedly lacking in realism. The trend toward idealism seems to have increased with the significant demand for grass-and-flower paintings in the decades after Sōtatsu’s death. Uncertain draftsmanship and a confusing arrangement of seasonal and other motifs suggest a decreasing reliance on direct observation of nature as well as diminished technical abilities. Thus, this screen can be dated to a time when such works began to be created in large numbers.

Summer and Autumn Flowers
Sōtatsu school, I’nen seal
Japan, 17th century
Six-panel screen
Color over gold on paper
Freer Gallery of Art, Gift of Charles Lang Freer, F1896.82

<< Back to The I’nen Garden