Hanging scroll; ink on silk
Image: 94 x 35.4 cm (37 x 13 15/16 in.); Including mounting: 177.2 x 51.8 cm (69 3/4 x 20 3/8 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1983.10
The Rinpa style of painting is named for Ogata Kōrin, even though he did not create it.
Ogata Kōrin had to think through his design carefully to create these white plum blossoms and deliver their effect, as he used the reserve technique—where selected areas of the painting surface are left unpainted—to achieve it. He probably roughed in the tree before applying an ink wash to the entire silk surface, except where he intended to place the flowers. He likely then returned to articulate the petals and, in some cases, the pistils and stamens. The composition shows the tree twisting out of view, only to return with a branch of new growth jabbing forth from an old, broken limb, thereby heightening the visual impact of the blossoms.
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