- Museum number
Painting, two-panel screen. Rocky island with pine tree among roiling waves. Ink, colour and gold leaf on paper.
- Production date
Height: 146.40 centimetres
Width: 131.40 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Hizo Nihon bijutsu taikan, vol 1
The painter here takes an interesting approach to a primarily design-oriented presentation of the contrast between a soaring, majestic island from which one pine emerges and the seething waters that crash up against it. There is no signature or seal on this screen, but it seems reasonable to accept the traditional attribution to Ogata Korin or one of his followers. In this regard, it may be useful to compare this work to several others that actually bear Korin's signature.
A. 'Island with a Pine'. Six-fold screen. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
B. "Island with a Pine". Six-fold screen. 'Korin hyakuzu' ('One Hundred Works by Korin'; Japanese Art: The Great European Collections, British Museum, vol. 2.)
C. "Island with a Pine". Six-fold screen. Formerly Iwasaki Koyata Collection. 'Bijutsu shuei' (No. 10). (destroyed in a fire.)
The locations of the signatures in A and B are different, so these two works appear to be distinct. However, the significant number of additions made to A provides a strong basis for believing that the two were originally identical. When A is considered apart from the issue of these additions, it becomes obvious that it is a splendid accomplishment.
C is a faithful reproduction of the Sotatsu screen that is in the collection of the Freer Gallery in Washington, D.C., so it is reasonable to attribute it to the later Korin school.
Comparison of the British Museum painting with these other examples of Korin's work reveals some differences in terms of the presence and location of the pine and in the pigments used for the crests of the waves. The composition, however, is remarkably similar to the fourth and fifth panels of A and B. From this we can conclude that Korin's 'Island with a Pine' composition was very popular, and that it is likely a good number of these works were produced by his studio. The work under discussion here may well be one of them.
Since this work bears no signature, I once argued that it may originally have been part of a six-fold screen, like A and B ('Zaigai Nihon no Shiho' [Japanese Treasures in Foreign Collections], vol. 5). However, I have been won over by Morrison's theory that it was probably originally a single-panel 'tsuitate' screen and would like to amend my earlier statement.
Be that as it may, this is a particularly valuable work that clearly demonstrates the state of Rinpa art appreciation in Western Europe in the early twentieth century.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- The collection of Japanese and Chinese paintings belonging to Arthur Morrison was purchased by Sir William Gwynne-Evans, who presented it to the British Museum in 1913.
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Asia painting number: Jap.Ptg.1265 (Japanese Painting Number)