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Plum Tree

Plum Tree

梅樹図

c. 1700

Ogata Kōrin 尾形光琳

(Japanese, 1658-1716)

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

Location

Did you know?

The Rinpa style of painting is named for Ogata Kōrin, even though he did not create it.

Description

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.

See also
Department: 
Japanese Art
Type of artwork: 
Painting

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