Flowers and Insects
Two-panel Japanese folding screen.
W. 162 cm x H. 169 cm (64” x 66.5”)
A two-panel Japanese folding screen, painted on silk in mineral pigments, gofun or clam shell gesso, and sumi ink with a summer scene of insects and flowering plants. It is painted in the exquisite traditions of Japanese Nihonga of the Taisho and early Showa periods. Rendered with great realism, red and yellow hibiscus, amaranth and softer pink and white foxgloves glow in the sunlight. The scene conveys the brilliance of a late summer afternoon, capturing the beauty of the hibiscus and the radiant and delicate conditions under which it will bloom. The artist has rendered the scene with crisp, precisely edged details. Lavishly applied mineral pigments characterize the painting, the vivid colours are like jewels against the golden background. With this painting, the artist reaches for a modernist interpretation of classical idioms in Japanese Rinpa painting, likely turning to the Edo Rinpa school of Sakai Hoitsu and his pupil Suzuki Kiitsu for inspiration.
Both the signature and seal read Hekisui. A number of artists of the period used that moniker though relatively little is known of them and we are presently unable to confirm the identity of this artist.
The screen has been fully conserved and remounted in Kyoto utilizing traditional craftsmen and techniques.