overall with mounting Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

Of the handful of surviving works by Sōri, this screen is recognized as his masterpiece. A single branch of green leaves amid the otherwise brilliant red foliage suggests the setting is early fall. Following the finest works in the Kōrin tradition, Sōri showcases the intrinsic appeal of painting’s materiality. The interplay between the pooled ink on the tree trunks and the sheen of the gold ground beneath, for example, results in a mottled texture that conveys both the organic texture of the bark and a subtly abstract effect, complementing the vivid leaves. Little is known about Sōri, but it is possible that he met Sakai Hōitsu (1761–1828), whose work is displayed nearby, in Edo. This would place Sōri at the epicenter of the 19th-century revitalization of the School of Kōrin.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
TL42147.39
People
Tawaraya Sōri, Japanese (active mid- to late 18th century)
Title
Autumn Maple Trees
Classification
Paintings
Work Type
screen, painting
Date
Second half 18th century
Places
Creation Place: East Asia, Japan
Period
Edo period, 1615-1868
Culture
Japanese
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/340569
Location
Level 3, Room 3500, Special Exhibitions Gallery
View this object's location on our interactive map
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Six-panel folding screen; ink, color, and gold on paper
Dimensions
image only: 68.7 x 211.2 cm (27 1/16 x 83 1/8 in.)
with mount: 80.5 x 223 cm (31 11/16 x 87 13/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: Tawaraya Sōri hitsu
  • seal: Genchi
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Promised gift of Robert S. and Betsy G. Feinberg
Object Number
TL42147.39
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Publication History

Matthew McKelway, Kobayashi Tadashi, and Yasumura Toshinobu, Silver Wind: The Arts of Sakai Hōitsu (1761-1828), exh. cat., Japan Society (New York, 2012), pp. 50-51, cat. 3

The Flowering of Edo Period Painting: Japanese Masterworks from the Feinberg Collection, exh. cat., Yomiuri Shinbunsha (Tokyo, 2013), pp. 40-41, cat. 6

Musée Cernuschi, Le Japon au fil des saisons: Collection Robert et Betsy Feinberg, exh. cat., Paris-Musées (Paris, 2014), pp. 50-53

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

Rachel Saunders and Yukio Lippit, Painting Edo: Selections from the Feinberg Collection of Japanese Art, exh. cat. (Cambridge, MA, 2020), pp. 44-45, figs. 33-34

Exhibition History

Silver Wind: the Arts of Sakai Hōitsu (1761-1828), Japan Society, New York, 09/29/2012 - 01/06/2013

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

Subjects and Contexts

Google Art Project

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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