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  • Cranes

    SAKAI HOITSU, Cranes

    Japanese, 1761-1828
    Two-panel folding screen; ink, colors, and gold on paper
    Signature: Hoitsu Kishin hitsu
    Seals: (upper) Oson, (lower) Monsen
    Charlotte E. W. Buffington Fund

    Copyright Notice

    In their arrangement of two-dimensional forms on the picture surface and dramatic use of a gold ground, Hoitsu and his pupils are truly heirs to the great tradition of Japanese decorative painting. Born in Edo (modern Tokyo) into a wealthy samurai family, Hoitsu experimented with a variety of idioms before finally taking up the Rimpa style of Ogata Korin (1658-1716). He was responsible for a Rimpa revival in nineteenth-century Edo, and he published two woodblock-printed books on Korin, including the Korin hyakuzu (One hundred paintings of Korin) in 1815. This two-panel screen is virtually a "quotation" from a pair by Korin at the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Hoitsu's work, however, is less naturalistic than the painting on which it is based.