Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

These screens celebrate two famous sites close to the city of Kyoto: Arashiyama, known for its springtime cherry blossoms (right), and Takao, noted for the beauty of its autumn maples (left). Baiitsu was the supreme colorist among literati painters of his era. His lavish use of mineral blues and greens and several different kinds of cut-gold sprinkled to create dreamlike pillows of mist is supplemented with Chinese-style inkwork (to texture Arashiyama) and gold outline (for the rocks of Takao) in a manner highly reminiscent of Ming and Qing landscape paintings popular in Edo Japan. While timeless, each of these sites is also anchored to a specific moment by the tiny vignettes of visitors enjoying the seasonal views.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Yamamoto Baiitsu, Japanese (Nagoya 1783 - 1856 Nagoya)
Arashiyama in Spring and Takao in Autumn
Work Type
painting, screen
1832 (Tenpō 3)
Creation Place: East Asia, Japan
Edo period, 1615-1868
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Pair of six-panel folding screens; ink, color, and gold on paper
each screen painting proper: H. 166.3 x W. 357.6 cm (65 1/2 x 140 13/16 in.)
with mount: H. 169.5 x W. 360.8 cm (66 3/4 x 142 1/16 in.)
one screen opened at about 160-degree angle: W. 350.5 cm (138 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed:
  • seal: Takao screen: Yamamoto Ryō, Baika itsujin 
  • inscription: Arashiyama screen: Mizunoe tatsu chūshun Baiitsu Yamamoto Ryō sha 
  • inscription: Takao screen: Tenpō sannenn natsu shigatsu sha ō Shotai sōdō Baiitsu Ryō 
  • seal: Arashiyama screen
    : Yamamoto Ryō 
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Promised gift of Robert S. and Betsy G. Feinberg
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Publication History

Kyoto gadan: Edo matsu meiji no gajintachi, exh. cat. (Kyoto, Japan, 1977), #13, pp. 26-27

Patricia Jane Graham, The True-View Pictures of Yamamoto Baiitsu, Orientations (Hong Kong, February 1985), p. 12

The Flowering of Edo Period Painting: Japanese Masterworks from the Feinberg Collection, exh. cat., Yomiuri Shinbunsha (Tokyo, 2013), pp. 91-94, cat. 36

Musée Cernuschi, Le Japon au fil des saisons: Collection Robert et Betsy Feinberg, exh. cat., Paris-Musées (Paris, 2014), p. 17 and pp. 120-125

Emma Giuliani, Quatre saisons au Japon: Un livre anime, Musée Cernuschi (Paris, 2014)

Rachel Saunders, "Painting Edo: Japanese Art from the Feinberg Collection", Orientations, Orientations Magazine (Hong Kong, January/February 2020), vol. 51, no. 1, pp. 20-33, pp. 28-29, figs. 9a and b

Rachel Saunders and Yukio Lippit, Painting Edo: Selections from the Feinberg Collection of Japanese Art, exh. cat. (Cambridge, MA, 2020), p. 88, fig. 77

Exhibition History

The Flowering of Edo Period Painting: Japanese Masterworks from the Feinberg Collection, Tokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum, 05/21/2013 - 07/15/2013; Miho Museum, 07/20/2013 - 08/18/2013; Tottori Prefectural Museum, 10/05/2013 - 11/10/2013

32Q: 2600 East Asian, Japanese, Chinese and Korean, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 06/09/2016 - 12/01/2016

Painting Edo: Japanese Art from the Feinberg Collection, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 02/14/2020 - 05/04/2020

Subjects and Contexts

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