Tawaraya Sotatsu, “The Folding Screen of Fujin and Raijin”

“The Folding Screen of Fujin and Raijin (God of Wind and Thunder)”




Tawaraya Sōtatsu (1570-1643) was a painter in the early Edo period. He had a strong influence on Ogata Korin (1658-1716), who created the stream of Rimpa School.

The Kanō School, including Kanō Eitoku(1543-1590), which had the strong relationship with those in power of the warrior class since the Muromachi Period. But he painted a picture for the court nobles and wealthy townspeople.

This picture is one of his masterpieces. Tawaraya Sōtatsu drew liberal lines and rich expressions of the gods. He proved that he established a free style of painting with the folding screen art.

Sōtatsu made a space in the middle of the screen and placed Fujin (the Wind God) to the left and Raijin (the Thunder God) to the right. Both gods produce severe weather phenomena, but they look fun with friendly faces.

He used gold luxuriously as a background, but unlike the Kanō School that emphasized strength, he created a fine atmosphere with the color.

He used a technique “Tarashikomi” to express the dynamism of the clouds on which the two gods are riding. Tarashikomi is to mix ink with silver paint. By using this technology Sotatsu gave ink movement and lightness.

Title: ”The Folding Screen of Fujin and Raijin(God of Wind and Thunder)”

Artist: Tawaraya Sōtatsu

Size:154.5×169.8cm

Own:Kenninji Temple

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