Red and White Plum Blossoms by Ogata Kōrin

"Red and White Plum Blossoms" on folding screen by Ogata Kōrin

Ogata Kōrin (1658-1716) was strongly influenced by Tawaraya Sōtatsu (1570? -1643?) and established his painting style while being enlightened by Sōtatsu’s creative style. The themes of the paintings of red and white plum blossoms accompanied by a stream of water and the arrangement of painting on the left and right sides of a pair of folding screens in this work are just good examples.

While most of the trunk of the white plum tree is hidden off the screen, the red plum tree is drawn to fill the screen with contrast, and the water flow is placed in the center to create a delicate curved surface. This is Korin’s original idea. Plum blossoms have been loved by Chinese literati since ancient times, and they respected the fact that it bloomed ahead of other plants. The swirling circle of the river is very stylish and has a presence beyond reality.

Title: Red and White Plum Blossoms

Author: Ogata Kōrin

Year: mid-18th century

Size: 156.0×172.2 cm

Own: MOA Museum of Art

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