Six-panel folding screen
Ink, colors, gold leaf and gold flakes on paper
170 by 379 cm
The grapevine is painted heavy with fruit, on a bamboo trellis behind a bamboo fence by small hills and a flowing stream. The dense clouds behind and over the grapevine are depicted using gold leaf, while the land is made with gold flakes over green and the water is painted with lines on the natural paper of the screen’s folds.
Although grapes were found in Japan in very early times, it was not until the arrival of Buddhism that they appear in artwork. During the Momoyama period, grape patterns were made on lacquers, ceramic and costumes, while screens and paintings are quite scarce. A notable exception is the pair of Kanō screens at the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum with the same subjects of the present one: grapevine on bamboo trellis with small green hills (Link). Moreover, our screen is strictly related to a very similar work with the same composition (now cropped due to a fire incident) now at the Mogami Yoshiaki Historical Museum and probably painted by the same artist (Link).