Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

Tress-like waves roil in every direction around islets that host uncannily perfect pines. Others take the form of claws as they break, protectively encircling eddies as if clutching an eye, while rows of scaly bubbles on the humped backs of waves yet to crest hint at a vast reptilian presence beneath. This numinous marine scene is a re-adaptation of a hallmark image of the School of Kōrin, whose painters creatively copied specific motifs in order to affirm their affiliation with the lineage. Extant full-size folding screens by Tawaraya Sōtatsu (active c. 1600–1640) and Ogata Kōrin (1658–1716) and reproductions in woodblock-printed compilations of School of Kōrin paintings (such as those in the case below) demonstrate that several well-known versions of the subject existed. Here, Kiitsu has adapted the composition to suit the needs of this unusual, compact format.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Suzuki Kiitsu, Japanese (Omi Province 1796 - 1858)
Waves at Matsushima
Work Type
c. 1833–43
Creation Place: East Asia, Japan
Edo period, 1615-1868
Persistent Link
Level 3, Room 3500, Special Exhibitions Gallery
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Physical Descriptions
Set of four sliding doors; ink, color, and gold on paper; enameled door pulls
each: 24.1 × 40.7 cm (9 1/2 × 16 in.)
both panels in orginal frame: 28.6 × 98.5 cm (11 1/4 × 38 3/4 in.)
overall, board mounted on: 40.5 × 100 × 4 cm (15 15/16 × 39 3/8 × 1 9/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • seal: Seisei
  • inscription: Kaikai Kiitsu hitsu
  • seal: Motonaga
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

The Flowering of Edo Period Painting: Japanese Masterworks from the Feinberg Collection, exh. cat., Yomiuri Shinbunsha (Tokyo, 2013), pp. 58-59, cat. 15

Suntory Museum of Art, Himeji City Museum of Art, and Hosomi Art Museum, ed., Suzuki Kiitsu: Standard-bearer of the Edo Rimpa School, exh. cat., Yomiuri Shinbunsha (Tokyo, 2016-2017), pp. 74-75 and p. 278, cat. 46

Rachel Saunders and Yukio Lippit, Painting Edo: Selections from the Feinberg Collection of Japanese Art, exh. cat. (Cambridge, MA, 2020), pp. 48-49, figs. 36-37

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

Suzuki Kiitsu: Standard-bearer of the Edo Rimpa School, Suntory Museum of Art, Tokyo, 09/10/2016 - 10/30/2016; Himeji City Museum of Art, 11/12/2016 - 12/25/2016; Hosomi Art Museum, Kyoto, 01/03/2017 - 02/19/2017

Painting Edo: Japanese Art from the Feinberg Collection, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 02/14/2020 - 07/18/2021

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