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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Screen of miscellaneous paintings

Photo: Scott Leen

Screen of miscellaneous paintings

18th century

Kano School

Japanese, 16th-19th centuries

No less than sixty-eight pictures are painted on this pair of screens, each drawn from a well-known subject. Together, they represent a wide range of East Asian pictorial traditions, including Japanese narrative scrolls, Chinese ink painting, bird-and-flower as well as figural paintings.

Although the screens are not signed, their painting style reasonably leads us to attribute them to the Kano school painters. The Kano school worked in a workshop system and lasted for more than 300 years. To pass down the knowledge of master painters to the next generation, the Kano school kept secretive painting manuals, which often included examples of well-depicted subjects. The painters of these screens must have had access to the painting manuals and perhaps also to the masters’ works, using them as models.
Pair of six-fold screens; ink, color, and gold on paper
68 1/2 x 10/16 in (174 x 1.6 cm)
25 3/16 in (width of widest panel when folded) (64 cm)
148 1/8 in (elongated/full width) (376.2 cm)
Purchased with funds from Ina Tateuchi
Provenance: [Kyoto Art & Antiques, Seattle, Washington, 2021]; purchased by Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington, 2021
Photo: Scott Leen
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Asian Art Museum, Boundless: Stories of Asian Art, Feb. 8, 2020 - ongoing [on view Dec. 10, 2021 - July 24, 2022].

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