Matsumura Keibun, Morning glory, a hanging scroll painting

Edo period, AD 1830-40

A Hanging Scroll for the Tea Ceremony

This simple painting would have been selected to hang in the tokonoma (alcove) of the tea room for an informal summer Tea Ceremony. The choice of the morning glory flower (asagao), which opens to bloom briefly early in the day, suggests a morning occasion.

The painting has the original mounting, which demonstrates how the utmost care was taken by the mounter to enhance the painting and to harmonise with the surroundings of the tea room. The strips of loosely-woven brocade immediately above and below the paintings (ichimonji) are decorated with dewy grass in restrained green, gold and silver on a beige ground. This is surrounded by chū-mawari, blue figured damask silk with a design of waves on water. The blue of the waves compliments the blue of the morning glory bloom. The sections of the mounting at top and bottom (jōge) are of brown, deliberately crumpled paper (momi-gami) giving a sense of faded age which merges quietly into the muted background of the wall of the tea room. The fūtai (hanging tabs) are replaced by simple strips of white paper. The rollers are lathe-turned from bamboo with a dappled skin.

Keibun (1779-1843) was the younger half-brother of Gō Shun (1752-1811), founder of the Shijō school of painting.

The signature and seal read 'Keibun'.

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More information


L. Smith, V. Harris and T. Clark, Japanese art: masterpieces in (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)


Height: 251.000 mm
Width: 406.000 mm
Height: 251.000 mm
Width: 406.000 mm

Museum number

Asia JA JP ADD771 (1983.11-11.04)



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