Attributed to Odawara Kano School / The Four Seasons / Muromachi period, mid- to late 16th centuryAttributed to Odawara Kano School
The Four Seasons
Muromachi period, mid- to late 16th century

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Creator Name: Odawara Kano school
Creator Qualifier: Attributed to
Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Japanese
Creator Name-CRT: Attributed to Odawara Kano School
Title: The Four Seasons
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1534
Creation End Date: 1566
Creation Date: Muromachi period, mid- to late 16th century
Creation Place: Japan
Object Type: Paintings
Materials and Techniques: Ink and light color on paper
Parts and Pieces: pair of six-panel folding screens
Dimensions: Each 61 x 142 1/8 in. (154.9 x 361 cm)
AMICA Contributor: Asia Society
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1979.216.1-2
Credit Line: Asia Society: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection
Context: The Kano school, a hereditary family of painters employed by the Tokugawa shoguns and other military rulers, dominated Japanese painting from the 16th through 19th century. In addition, most other major artists of this period studied with Kano masters before developing their own styles. The founders of the Kano school were among the first professional artists to paint Chinese-style ink paintings. Prior to the 15th century, this type of painting was primarily the art of Buddhist monks or amateur painters,who were usually scholars of Chinese thought and culture. Kano mastery of Chinese-style landscape painting also contributed to the success of the school in the 15th century, after this theme became popular.

Kano Masanobu (c. 1434-1530), the founder of the Kano school, was a member of a minor samurai family. Both he and his father served as painters to the Ashikaga shogun Yoshimasa (1436-1490). The rise of the Kano school, however, is generally attributed to the artistic and organizational genius of Masanobu's grandson Motonobu (1476-1559), one of the most influential painters in 16th-century Japan. Motonobu developed a distinctive style of large-scale painting well suited to the increasing demand for large interior decoration schemes, and created a workshop system that could meet the demands of a growing, wealthy clientele. This combination was continued by Motonobu's son Eitoku (1543-1590), and creative variations and reinterpretations of compositional types and motifs invented by these two masters remained the hallmark of the Kano school for centuries.

The continuing influence of Kano Motonobu is illustrated in this pair of mid- to late 16th-century folding screens depicting a landscape of the four seasons. Reading from right to left, various scenes show changes in foliage and atmosphere from spring to winter. In the opening scene, a scholar-gentleman and his attendant walk along a mountain path that winds behind hills in the foreground. Their destination m
Related Document Description: Asia Society. Handbook of the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection. New York: Asia Society, [1981], p. 97.
Related Document Description: Lee, Sherman E. Asian Art: Selections from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd--Part II. New York: Asia Society, 1975, pp. 76-79, 101.
Related Document Description: Treasures of Asian Art: Selections from the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection, The Asia Society, New York. Hong Kong and Singapore: Hong Kong Museum of Art and National Museum Singapore, 1993, pp. 154-55, 156-57, 158-59.
Related Document Description: Treasures of Asian Art: Selections from the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection, The Asia Society, New York. Tokyo: Idemitsu Museum of Arts, 1992, pp. 106-07, 108, 109, 143.
AMICA ID: ASIA.1979.216.1-2
AMICA Library Year: 1999
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright Asia Society

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