Flowering Cherry and Autumn Maples with Poem Slips, Tosa Mitsuoki from the old master collection

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Flowering Cherry and Autumn Maples with Poem Slips, Tosa Mitsuoki (1654)

Japanese aristocrats engaged in the elegant custom of recollecting classical poetry while viewing spring and autumn foliage. In these delicate screens, premier court painter Tosa Mitsuoki meditated on the inevitable passage of beauty by depicting the melancholy hours after the departure of reveling courtiers. A cherry tree bursts into bloom on the right screen, while its mate displays the brilliant red and gold foliage of maples in autumn. Slips of poetry, called tanzaku, waft from the blossoming limbs, the remaining evidence of a human presence. Courtiers (whose names are recorded in a seventeenth-century document) assisted Mitsuoki by inscribing the narrow strips with quotations of appropriate seasonal poetry from twelfth- and thirteenth-century anthologies.

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Pros and cons

  • Interchangeable art: buying a separate print and change your lookß
  • Optional acoustic function
  • Modern and affordable alternative to canvas
  • Simple construction kit, you have to put it together yourself. View the assembly instructions.

A modern alternative to canvas

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