A Rinpa school 4 leaf byobu, mineral pigments and gofun on gold leaf ground. 184cm x 69cm (72.4 x 27 inches). Beautifully drawn and executed, the well balanced composition featuring chrysanthemums and grasses by a winding stream.
Reminiscent of Sakai Hoitsu, this is most likely an early nineteenth century screen, a period when the (17th century) Rinpa school was undergoing a popular revival (led by Hoitsu). See Hoitsu's painting Pawlonias and Chrysanthemums for a similar example.
The ground is especially attractive on this piece. Not a glamorous, bright gold but deep and subtle with age with blooms of pinky purple tones coming through. The surface is a riot of fine textures and interplays of colour, so even the empty space, designed purely for balance, is in itself a hugely decorative element of the painting.
The screen is in astonishingly good condition, with no repairs or patches to the gold leaf ground and no overpainting or touching up that we can see. Two petals from the chrysanthemums on the third leaf have lost the gofun (crushed oyster shell, applied to give a raised texture to the petals). The brocade border is in overall excellent condition, with only a small stain to the bottom right corner, but has almost entirely lost it's original pigment; Where the silk has never been seen by the sun (inbetween the two central leaves) the brocade reveals itself to have originally been a deep blue green. Small marks/wear to the lacquer border, a professionally repaired tear to the backing paper.
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Early 19th Century Japanese Gold Screen after Sakai Hoitsu
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