(a) Photo © Photography: John Tsantes and Neil Greentree © Robert Feinberg
Gallery Text

Born to a wealthy merchant family, Kōrin squandered his fortune and took up painting to make ends meet. It appears he trained under Kano artist Yamamoto Soken (d. 1706) but also independently studied the works of Tawaraya Sōtatsu (active c. 1600–1640), whose output inspired the undulating outlines and wet-on-wet pooling technique (tarashikomi) used in these two paintings. Now mounted as a pair of hanging scrolls, the autumnal chrysanthemums and winter reeds once adorned opposite sides of a round fan. Kōrin’s skill in negotiating the shape of the fan is indebted to his study of Sōtatsu, who oversaw the Tawaraya fan shop in Kyoto and generated many inventive designs for the format.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Ogata Kōrin, Japanese (Kyoto 1658 - 1716)
White Chrysanthemums and Snow-covered Reeds
Work Type
painting, hanging scroll
c. 1711
Creation Place: East Asia, Japan
Edo period, 1615-1868
Persistent Link
Level 3, Room 3500, Special Exhibitions Gallery
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Physical Descriptions
Two sides of single round fan mounted as a pair of hanging scrolls; ink, color, and gold on paper
fan painting proper: H. 20.6 × W. 23.6 cm (8 1/8 × 9 5/16 in.)
overall with mounting, roller ends and suspension cord: H. 123.4 × W. 53.7 cm (48 9/16 × 21 1/8 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: painting "Snow-covered Reeds": Hokkyō Kōrin
  • seal: painting "Snow-covered Reeds": Kansei
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Promised gift of Robert S. and Betsy G. Feinberg
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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a. White Chrysanthemums
b. Snow-covered Reeds
Publication History

The Flowering of Edo Period Painting: Japanese Masterworks from the Feinberg Collection, exh. cat., Yomiuri Shinbunsha (Tokyo, 2013), p. 36, cat. 2

Rachel Saunders and Yukio Lippit, Painting Edo: Selections from the Feinberg Collection of Japanese Art, exh. cat. (Cambridge, MA, 2020), p. 41, fig. 29

Exhibition History

Celebrated Four Seasons: An Aspect of Japanese Paintings from the 16th to 19th Centuries, Chiba City Museum of Art, Chiba, 04/27/1996 - 06/09/1998

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

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

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu