Solitary Plum Tree - Poetry of Spring
Rinpa school artist
Edo period(1603-1868), 19th century
Ink and mineral colours on gold and silver leaf
H 168.5 cm x W373.4 cm
Price on request
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The plum is a symbol of spring, a tree which resists the cold and begins to blossom at the end of winter. It was probably introduced from China in the Nara period (the 8th century) and was initially the most frequently mentioned flower in Japanese poetry, celebrated for its sweet perfume and delicate blossoms. The vivid blue and white iris is called "Kakitsubata", one of the three types of iris, grows by the water, the symbol of May.
The Japanese lily stands elegantly radiating its beauty which was brought by Dr Philipp Franz von Siebold (1796-1866) from Japan to Europe in the 19th century.
This painting is characterized by the flat, decorative style typical of the Rinpa school. Most Rinpa artists followed in the footsteps of the great masters such as Tawaraya Sōtatsu( ca1600-1640), Ogata Kōrin (1658-1716) and Sakai Hōitsu(1761-1828), and this work certainly exemplifies the tradition. They express their inborn sensibilities in a free use of vivid colours and bold decorative pattern. Rinpa masters’ works share at least one important feature: the striking beauty of abstract pattern and design.
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Poetry of Spring
Fleeting moment of Beauty
The gentle sound of the water from the stream,
comforted by two pairs of iris, the "lovers" on the shore by the plum tree, embracing the fleeting moment.
While the stillness and silence in the left side,
giving me space to breeze deep down into my heart and rest,
where the love resides.
Glittering gold balanced with the fragile sensitivity of the noble lily.
The life is the composition of fleeting moments and balance.
Can you find the stillness among fleeting moments?
This is where the beauty is. This is where the love resides....
- Azumi Uchitani